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How 10 Esoteric Secrets Hidden in Joss Whedon’s Best Movie Can Change Your Life

I maintain my position that The Avengers is the best superhero film ever, the standard by which all others shall be judged. Disagree?

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

May 14, 2014 - 5:00 pm
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10. The Avengers Re-imagines the Book of Exodus, the Foundational Story of Western Civilization. When We Strive to Master All Four Elements of our Being and Utilize Them to Annihilate Evil We Imitate God. The Four Symbols at the Heart of the Western Mystery Tradition Derive from the Four Hebrew Letters of God’s Name, the Tetragrammaton, the Magic Spell Given by God to Moses, Manifested in the 10 Plagues. When We Understand God As a Verb We Free Ourselves From the Chains of Idolatry.

Exodus 3:1-15:

3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.

The Divine process of time and change conquers all of nature’s idols. Each of the 10 plagues represented a different polytheistic noun-god conquered by a Verb-God. We are not slaves to our natures, but called to transform ourselves and the limits placed before us.

The general understanding of mysticism is that it’s more flexible than “traditional” or “orthodox” methods of practicing religion. In one sense that’s true, but in another the opposite is the case: the mystic knowingly, consciously chooses sometimes to be a fundamentalist, interpreting the text in a literal fashion, and then performing the ritual his holy books dictate. If you don’t genuinely believe then the magic doesn’t work and the angels won’t show up. So if the Bible says that God is the verb “to be” then so be it. And if the religions with such a foundation really work as advertised then we can find that out through the experimental method.

Stan Lee’s first Marvel team, the Fantastic Four, also relied on the four elements to provide a sense of balance: the Human Torch for fire, the rubbery Mr. Fantastic for water, the Invisible Woman for air, and the rock-skinned tough guy Thing for earth. This is the magic of how a family is supposed to work.

The Wizard of Oz also utilizes the Tetragrammaton in its characters. The combustible, fire-phobic Scarecrow represents the Wand. The hollow Tin Man, seeking a heart, represents the Cup. The cowardly Lion fails to recognize the Swords he already has built into his body. And salt of the earth, Kansas schoolgirl Dorothy brings them all together — she is the pentacle.

Leadership (Leonardo) balanced with rebellion (Raphael), rationalism and intellect (Donatello) balanced with innocence and joy (Michelangelo.)

Eastern traditions also express the Tetragrammaton.

“Quasar,” the first song on the Smashing Pumpkins’ newest release, relies on the Tetragrammaton for its chorus and structure. I intend to dissect the album’s esoteric themes in a future article.

Yod he vau he om
Brothers, sisters roam!
Sunlight ride on!
Yod he vau he om
Let’s ride on!
Right on!
Ride on!

Yes I understand
Yes I know that will
Yes I am one man
Yes, I
Yes I understand
Yes I know that will
Yes I am one man
Yes, I
Yes, I
Yod he vau he om
Yod he vau he om
Yod he vau he om
Om…

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And so I too turn to God for inspiration and guidance in this dark, confused political age. In October I published the first edition of a regularly expanding list of texts that helped to define three political-cultural ideological hybrids: 23 Books for Counterculture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards. My new, revised definitions:

Counterculture Conservative

Someone with both classical liberal politics and some combination of quirky artistic tastes, unusual lifestyle choices, natural diet, fashion sensibilities, sexual choices, or religious beliefs. Often this mindset comes as a result of a political shift later in life.

Archetypal example: New Media troublemaker and publisher, the late Andrew Breitbart.

Tea Party Occultist

One who identifies with both the founding fathers’ Enlightenment politics and Masonic spiritual values — and perceives their relationship. Religious Liberty requires a government based in Political Liberty and a military to fight the barbarian idolaters who would take away both. Alternative definition: one who identifies with both the “Right-Wing” Tea Party movement and the Right-Hand path of the Western Mystery Tradition, adequately defined here by Wikipedia.

Archetypal example: James Wasserman, author, book designer, and a “founding father” of the modern revivals of the mystical secret society the Ordo Templi Orientis and its religion Thelema.

Capitalist Wizard

One who understands the magical abilities of the free market to create value, wealth, and prosperity out of nothing but hard work, great ideas, and good luck. In free societies you really can wave your wand and turn lead into gold. All wealth begins when the entrepreneurs who will someday create it first dream and then put pen to paper to lay out their plan. Writing creates wealth. The ridiculous level of comfort in our society today — our government can afford to pay for the luxury of a cell phone for “poor” people — could happen because hundreds of years ago men wrote that the pursuit of happiness was an innate right.

Archetypal Example: Walt Disney. What began as imaginations in his head and sketches of a mouse would one day become a billion dollar multimedia empire with DisneyLand — our Mecca — as the permanent celebratory reminder of how the imagination can manifest mental and spiritual wealth into the material world.

A few weeks later, after the election’s disappointment, I offered these three reasons justifying my decision to join the GOP — something I had no intention of doing if Mitt Romney had won — and begin calling myself an Anti-Slavery Republican:

1. Today I’m joining the Republican Party because I recognize that it’s not enough to take back the culture. We could spend four years pushing the culture and expanding the base and then it would be all for naught because incompetent GOP establishment hacks cannot run a campaign.

2. Today I’m joining the Republican Party because over the coming years as ideological factions compete for influence the antisemitic elements within the party — Ron Paul’s Paleo-Libertarian, Old Right, Anarcho Capitalist, Conspiracy Theory cult coalition — threaten to gain greater power.

3. Today I’m joining the Republican Party because as I’ve returned to Bible-based religion and a faith in God during the past year I’ve come to understand the story of the ancient Israelites rebelling against slavery and idolatry as the basis for Western Civilization, our ancestors’ flight from Europe, and the founding of this nation. The Republican Party was founded as the anti-slavery Party. It still is today.

Thus, for 2013 I will expand my project and in future articles link all four hybrids together as my own expression of Tetragrammaton. I invite others to offer their input and suggestions. We’re all capable of emulating The Avengers and Exodus, of bringing together the heroism within us to defeat the evil threat from above in the world and below in our hearts.

Paraphrasing what Kathy Shaidle argued last week “Grown Men Don’t Read Comic Books: Here’s an Alternative (That Might Just Save America),” these fantasy stories only have value to the degree in which they inspire us to become the heroes of our own lives.

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*****

images courtesy shutterstock /  isak55 / Dinga

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David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ Gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for WTHR.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.

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All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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Archetypes and ancient symbols in mythologoy and literature make an interesting topic. Also, their inclusion in fiction enhances its chances for success -- see Campbell's book, "Hero With a Thousand Faces." Having freed myself from Christian fundamentalism, I am not afraid to explore such topics, and ordered Israel Regardie's book "One Year to Spiritual Enlightenment," based on your essay. I'd like to know more about this topic. I will reread the article more carefully when I have time.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amazing effort. Thank you for posting (again) such a complex piece.
I would avoid any specific comment, because the specific recipe of each one's "best soup" on the Sacred Way is certainly strictly personal (although it can always be compared and discussed).
I would add only that CERTAINLY G*d is a verb. The Infinite Being.
The Infinite Being Who Is (and is Infinite Love).

And there again there is a way back to discuss the problem of reason.
Because we live in the age of mature nihilism, that utterly denies any POSSIBILITY of a philosophy of Being.

Which is instead possible.
And I stop here before falling into the temptation of a book plug.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh by all means, feel free to share any of the ingredients from your spiritual soup and plug your book. And if you think it's one I should take a look at then send me an email DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail Dot Com Thanks!
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, Mr. Swindle, you are a devotee of Mr. Regardie, whose entry in Wikipedia begins:

Israel Regardie ...(November 17, 1907 – March 10, 1985), was an occultist, a writer, and Aleister Crowley's personal secretary and transcriptionist, widely known for his books and commentaries on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Crowley was a Black Magician [aka: 'Magick'], a servant of the Devil. His most famous utterance is: 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law'.

With this article, are you telling us that you are a follower of Mr. Crowley?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry but your comment has several factual inaccuracies about Aleister Crowley in it. First, he was not a black magician. In his book Magick Book Four that I quote from in this article he explains what black magic is and why he opposed it. Second, black magic and magick are not synonymous. Magick is just "the science and art of causing change in accordance of will." Opening a door is a magickal act.

Third, "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law" does not mean "you can do whatever you want." It is not a license for hedonism and Crowley made that very clear. The other statement that goes along with it? "Love is the Law, Love Under Will." The charge "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law" means that one is supposed to determine one's Will and pursue it with all of one's being. Crowley makes clear that this does not mean hurting and murdering other people.

"With this article, are you telling us that you are a follower of Mr. Crowley?"
No. He is one author among dozens and dozens with some ideas that are useful and others that aren't. He's not my idol. I am a follower of the God of Israel, as I thought the last page of the article made clear. http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/05/14/how-10-esoteric-secrets-hidden-in-joss-whedons-best-movie-can-change-your-life/11/
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Crowley was in fact an evil man who did delve in black magick just read about Jack Parson the OTO and Babalon Working, a series of rituals designed to invoke the Thelemic goddess Babalon to Earth. I Knew Israel Regardie, Grady McMurtry & Louis Culling. To quote Regardie Cowley was buggering everyone. Those who become involved in this kind of Magick don't usually come to a good end. Parson blew himself up. If it weren't for myself and my ex-husband Louis Culling would have died completely alone in the Long Beach VA. Grady suffered from neurological problems. Kennedy one of Regardie's student put a bullet in his head.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've read Jack Parsons' writings and the two biographies written about him. I don't think the Babalon Working fits with Crowley's definition of black magick. They were just trying to conceive a child. Black magick is always about trying to hurt or deceive someone else. Do you acknowledge a difference between white magick and black magick? Not all magickal acts are evil or malevolent.

I don't think it's correct or fair to blame Crowley or his ideas for Parson's death or anybody else's.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I knowledge there is a difference in intent but in reality both are dangerous and practitioners open themselves up to the dangerous unseen. (FYI I do know what I am talking about as I deeply involved in the Occult and pretty much knew all the inheritors of the OTO and the Golden Dawn)
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps you'd like to send me an email with more of your thoughts on the subject? DaveSwindlePJM @ gmail dot com. Here's an article from a 2012 in which I define more what it means to be a Tea Party occultist: http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/10/20/23-books-for-counterculture-conservatives-tea-party-occultists-and-capitalist-wizards/ James Wasserman's approach to the OTO and Crowley has been a big influence.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Okay, I gave it a half hour. Pretty darn dumb. And that's from a guy who watched "Frankenstein's Army" earlier this evening.

It's no "Serenity."
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm gonna watch the movie on your recommendation, but your occult stuff just shows you're as goofy as can be.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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