White Paper [Scroll] #02
Mysticism in the Age of AI
This one is for all the Mystics out there.
Though I must confess that if you are here, alive and breathing, you are of the mystic lineages. You have within you the genes and energetic flows of the greatest energy workers of human history and beyond. We are all sons and daughters of the wise ones from many generations throughout time. Truly, it is the birthright of every human being to be a multidimensional energetic creature.
But some of us identify with the calling more than others.
This is to be expected. Society as we know it depends on many people filling many roles. Indeed, we could all walk the paths of Esoterica -there’s more than enough room- but this society depends on a wide range of creation and manifestation. I think civilization would be quite a different thing if we were all here. Maybe it will be so one day -I’d like to see that world of enlightened mystical communities flourishing together. I suspect in the same way that we are now reaching for the stars with rocket fuel and clever space technology, there is a vastness to existence that only a nation of energetic masters could reach.
But I digress. That is not what we’re here to talk about.
The world is a wild place. Getting more wild by the day. Only it is not the wild of yesteryear past. Many things are better than they were. Many things are worse. And much of the world, under the aesthetic exterior of an evolving human reality is the same. You can feel all of this, can’t you? I know you can, even if you’re unsure of what you feel. I’ve worked with many mystics. It is indeed my calling in this life. If I am not guiding ordinary people towards their own mastery and divinity, I am mentoring the Empaths and the Energetic practitioners on their paths. If you’re here, and you consider yourself someone who has chosen to walk the ways of the old alchemical arts, then you feel the flow of reality. You can trace its lines into the past, and forward into the future, like tangled roots that weave through dimensions. That which is new sprouting from the foundations of the old; that which is timeless still here, quiet, unwavering. And if you can’t yet feel the flowing field of energy around you, we’ll get you there, I promise.
But right now we need to talk about something particular: Technology.
I know, I know, everyone and their dog is on the subject. But this is also the way of it. Humanity is, unbeknownst to itself, one tribe of interconnected beings. We weave together through the aether and are interconnected by our unique curiosities as much as we are by our shared sense of the Greater Path. We fly like the synchronized flocks of our feathered brothers and sisters. But something needs be said about where we are and where we’re going that is not being said enough, or by the right people. Something needs to be revealed and with it a calling to we Mystics to rise up to the challenge of caring for our world-wide family.
Technology is a tool, nothing more.
And in this chapter, it is a distraction.
This is the Third Grand Distraction in the last decade. It will not be the last.
But before we get to that, I want to root what I have to share into the lineage of what our Mystic ancestors have been through. I want you to hold the importance of what I need to tell you in the context of where we’ve been, and where we might go next.
If the records and hints are true -and we know they are from the perspective of our esoteric knowing- there was once a time where the Mystic was an honored member of the small tribe. We were Shaman then. Many lineages of a myriad of styles and forms existed across all of humanity. From the South American amazon to the Siberian steps of now modern Russia. We served our family with insight and wisdom from the aether, passed down from master to apprentice, generation to generation. We channeled the cosmos, communicated to the plants, and brought medicine and magic to the people.
We were a humble but wise people amongst people.
But within humanity is a fire. An endless passion to explore. We are driven to find the edges of all things. And then push them. For a time, in this lineage of humanity, there was plenty of space. The tribes met occasionally in the vastness of a wilderness that spanned the entire globe. We were small bands of gentle people thriving in unity with nature. We created technologies that were simple -many found through the arts of the Shaman- and in service to Nature. A means of connecting us to this beautiful world to exist as a member of the wider world and take only what we needed.
In turn, Nature provided for us an abundance of resource and a vast unknown to explore.
We were a curious people.
But we were then and always have been highly capable. Evolving further and faster than our wild siblings through ingenuity, creativity, and determination. We thrived and our numbers grew. The tribes of old became bigger; they became vast. We filled the spaces within nature with more and more people. The human-less wild became occupied. The edges found other edges.
For a time there was a harmony. The histories are not so clear. But eventually mankind found itself face to face with itself. Not only physically but culturally, and energetically. Our paradigms pressed against the paradigms of people that had found their way in the wild on different paths. One people divided by our stories. I expect there was a chapter of peace. Of trading ideas and interchanging of culture. But blood is thicker than shared water, and lineages carry a gravity in the restless souls of our mortality. Eventually, the curiosity to explore grew again, and while there were many paths we could have taken, we chose not to explore each other. Our ancestors chose instead to press on into the unknown of the universe. It is then that they perceived an obstruction to the headlong press for more, greater, further: Each Other.
I wonder at times what the world would have been like if we had been as curious about each other as we were of the wide world; if we had been as determined to delve into the paradigms of other tribes instead of carving more space out for our own. I wonder what the world would be like if we had, upon meeting a mirror of ourselves in the steppes and the meadows, chosen to unite our tribes into one.
But this is not the story of our people, and therefore it is not the story of the Mystic Path.
Amongst a people the culture and the life of the tribe is held by each individual. The aetheric blood of the family is in each of us. But it is also true that the Mystic fills a particular role as torch-bearer of the mystery; carrier of the flame of his or her tribe’s story. While the Shaman of old -later priestesses, Seeers, and a myriad of other archetypes- did not in most tribes hold the role of leader or chieftan, they still stood as channel of wisdom and knowledge for their people. They were the advisors and the navigators of the unseen realms beyond this one. They were profoundly important while holding limited authority. A family in equilibrium and balance.
Humanity’s genius as an inventive creature capable of changing its environment as well as adapting to whatever conditions presented themselves had always been a blessing. The true superpower of our species. Unfortunately, with the pressing of tribal edges together, that blessing became a curse. Our ancestors decided that in order to continue pressing into the unknown, we must remove all obstacles. Including each other.
The art of war and strategic conquest became our greatest achievement and our most profound downfall. Our people chose to set aside peace for conquest. And what better way to break the opposing tribes, than to remove their pillars of wisdom and guidance?
The Mystic became a prime target.
I will save you the entire history lesson. I think you see where this is headed. Throughout time we have evolved. Our tribes have mingled and blended. The stronger have toppled the lesser. Claimed their territory. Pushed further. And yet at times the strongest, having reached too far outside of sustainability, topple to ruin. Into the void left behind the smaller tribes have swarmed, filled, and battled for the left-overs. And through all of this the Mystic had become a cornerstone that once crushed could tip the opposing tribe into ruin.
Tribes became kingdoms became nations.
We evolved even the very notion of ourselves.
We became something new with every turn.
Shaman became Magi became Druids became Priest.
Religions formed around this unique and mysterious part of our people; both as a progression of the spiritual arts and a walled garden to protect our Mystics. And yet within that walled garden, we lost our way. A great dark night of the soul for entire peoples. A forgetting of the aether and the stars.
Our ancestors hunted each other down.
The early cults of Christianity were martyred for their beliefs. Later, once they had expanded to the far corners of Europe, they martyred the Pagans in return. The Druids were hunted to extinction on the Isles of Briton. Tribes became villages became baronies. Mystics moved into the shadows, no longer the guiding star of the governing leaders, they retired to more humble roles amongst the people. And yet the game had been set, for as the torch bearers of decentralized access to the divine, amongst a people that had traded curiosity for conquest, the Mystic was ever the target for carrying a competing story. Had we chosen the path of delving into the mysteries of each other, these stories would be precious gems of culture. Curious experiences from others. As it was, in this timeline, they became thorns. Uncomfortable pricks in the feet that made it hard to run with notions already held. They must therefore, be removed.
We had the Crusades. Battle of the titanic religions.
We had the Grand Inquisition. Eradication of witchcraft.
And when we ran out of things to genuinely fear, we had yet further atrocities. The Salem Witch Trials were not even hunting true Mystics -though many were killed regardless- but anyone appearing to be one. Our fear of the stories of others had grown to a feverish pitch. We hunted ghosts and shadows.
On the story goes as the Mystics of our generations were pushed further into hiding.
It has been our story for a long time.
And yet, the light at the end of the tunnel. Conquest gave way to hunting us down, and that gave way further to merely being ostracized. Eventually, the Mystic lineages were replaced with the great religions of our time and the practitioners were left in quiet, albeit secluded peace. Before long the world went through another great awakening, and Spirituality was made available to the people again.
The Mystic was set free.
A good friend of mine and fellow Mystic, Johnny Blackburn, has said rightfully so that there has been no time in history like this one because it is the first time in a very long time where we have been free to practice our Mystic arts in full public without fear of harm. We are free to walk the divine paths of our ancestors, exploring further, and embracing curiosity for the unknown. He is absolutely right, and it has been my honor to aid and mentor the next generations to come.
Unfortunately it is not the case that we are entirely safe.
What was once an external conflict forged by warring tribes and pressed on through time by governing bodies afraid of the Wisdom we hold has become an internal threat. And so we return to our conversation about technology.
In the last decade as of this writing we have faced, to my awareness, no less than Three Grand Distractions. Where once we feared the threat of opposing tribes that could not comprehend the possibility of multiple paths through the aether, now the enemy is pervasive and insidious. It is an enemy of subtle poisoning that flows from seemingly innocent sources. That which feels like liberation becomes the sedative and the blindfold. The things that ease the toil of our mundane mortality are a threat to the divine path. Where we feared the torch and the blade, now we face the profound distraction.
But these are not simple distractions. These are not the flashy lights of the carnival or the cute person passing by the window. These are distractions of the soul.
The First Grand Distraction came to us on the back of a technology that by all rights has the power to liberate all of humanity from an antiquated system of economy. Where once currency set us free, the modern trappings of finance have cuffed us to the floor. When Bitcoin was born, the possibility to fly free again came with it. And indeed it still holds this potential. Cryptocurrencies are the key to evolving our economic world into the next era of decentralized symphony. An age of each individual being the true arbiter of their own finances. Through crypto budgets could optimize, democracy can flourish, and the innovative minds of the entrepreneurs can run abundant. It is not without it’s flaws, and that is a conversation for another day, but with this innovative technology that could set people free came the first modern threat to the Mystics.
Crypto offered an easy way forward. The individual now had direct access to their own financial success. No longer bound to the trappings of employment to corporations that do not care. Within the reach of this new exchange of value, we could all be kings and queens.
At the same time, remember the story of our Mystic ancestors. Yes, we are free to practice in the light of day amongst the public, more or less unhindered. But with that integration of our divine paths also came the loss of a seat of honor amongst the wider tribe. Where once we exchanged our devotion to the Mystery for care and inclusion by our tribe, now we sit as yet another participant in the global economy. We have become our own provider, and thus half -if not much more- of our time and energy must be devoted to monetizing something to pay the bills.
The balancing act between exploring the aetheric unknown and working the cogs of economy is not an easy tricky. It is at once to create mastery in a realm that is decidedly not like this one, and yet maintain another foot in the industry of man. So then, what a seductive gem was the tempting offer of this new cryptocurrency world?
But there’s a catch.
Crypto is seductive for many reasons, not the least of which is the potential for exponential returns. Not only can you solve your financial challenges for today, but you might be able to solve them for a lifetime. Grounded financial practice would say to build slowly, cover your costs, stay with your calling and your passion and use crypto to pay the bills. But the potential to, in a single day of good luck, end your financial needs forever is too sweet a possibility to pass up. Because of this, the majority of Crypto has become the greatest casino of all time. Gambling invested time, energy, and money in the hope of breaking free.
To the Mystics of today, this was too tempting. I even got lost in it for a time. The thought of ending my reliance on economics to pay the bills, leaving me to devote 100% of my energy to my Dharma as curious explorer of the subtle energies? Sign me up!
But remember: Technology is a tool, nothing more.
When kept as a tool, all is well. Like the spade and the knife, like glass vials and clever filters; like the electric light and the calculator, all of technology has been created by us to allow us to do what we do better. The hope -the necessity- being that we use it in service to Nature so that the world is kept whole and healthy for further humanity to birth and thrive, and the cycle repeats. But this technology offered something no other has: freedom without effort. Crypto convinced us that we could get the good without the sweat.
I watched as people left the Mystic path behind to pursue this freedom. All saying they’d return once they were free. Yet many of them are still stuck in the grand casino of crypto. Even the ones that have been lucky stay because ‘just a bit more and I’ll be good to go!’ I mourn the lost ones. How many of our explorers have been seduced into the machine? Yet not the last...
The First Grand Distraction is defined by the notion:
Economic freedom is enticing in a world of currency exchange,
But the system consumes as much as it provides,
Awareness of what is invested is essential.
The Second Grand Distraction came in the form of a supposed biological threat. Only it was not the dangers of covid that pulled yet more of us off the Path, but the explosion of information competition that followed. Where once our ancestors killed the Mystics of opposing tribes, now we resorted to a battle of story. The Covidial Times brought with them an exponential increase in the amount of competing story that was broadcast to the world. Everything became polarized from the individual choice of a mask to the global governments’ decisions, and everything in between. Nothing was left sacred.
Granted this particular Grand Distraction stands on the backs of Lesser Distractions. Equally potent yet significantly less exponential. Identity conflict. Woke politics. Occupy Wallstreet. The list goes on. All of this pent up frustration and confusion pumped into the Second Grand Distraction.
And so yet again the Mystics of the world were faced with a challenge. This time in the form of Sensemaking. We had to rapidly evolve our discernment, our Instinct, our Intuition, and our understanding of meaning. To digest the whole of the puzzle and find the thread of truth -the winding path through the chaos- we had to rise up to an impossible challenge.
Some of us did. I’ll admit humbly that I took longer to do so. I made no false steps, but I did not make the right ones as quickly as some of my fellows. I’m eternally grateful for their compassion and patience. I’m endlessly appreciative of the shared sensemaking we did together. My family of Mystics is strong.
But many were not so lucky.
I watched as much of the spiritual community, from the empaths and energetics to the devout practitioners and the conscious spiritualists wandered off the Path. I watched as whole families became polarized far beyond what I could have ever expected had you warned me it was coming. Where once they held curiosity, compassion, and a spark of light to shine on the vision of a united humanity, they put on the blindfold of partisanship. Distracted by the memetic warfare of sloppy conspiracy and confused politics. One of the greatest exodus was the Q Shaman. Faced with the seemingly impossible digestion of an endless flood of information, they merged their mysticism with the grasping anxiety of the conspiracy community and adopted elaborate and contradictory beliefs.
I believe they still practice their Mystic arts, and the spark of that light is still in them. But for now, potentially the rest of their lives, they have lost their way. Their focus has turned from the Mystery to the conspiracy. They turn endless information over in their minds and neglect their energetic selves. Their light dims. They have become distracted on the deepest levels.
The Second Grand Distraction is defined by the notion:
Information is powerful and enlightening,
But too much of a good thing turns sour,
And we must return to our Discernment.
Now we arrive at the Third Grand Distraction.
If you’ve connected the dots you know that I’m speaking about “AI”. Indeed, the term AI has evolved. Where once it meant simply what it says, artificial intelligence, it later became a proper noun to describe a thing that was coming. It has returned to it’s original meaning: artificially created super intelligence. It comes in many forms. From the image generators like Dall-E to the LLMs (Language learning models) like ChatGPT. Extremely powerful tools of automation unseen by humanity before now. Where once we moved the ink and the paint on canvass, later on the digital screen, now we can simply prompt the AI tool with basic language -something we all possess- and from the machine springs forth a vision or a story. Seemingly, we have been gifted yet another doorway to ultimate freedom.
But there’s a catch.
These LLMs and image generators, this AI, is not truly creative. It simply looks for patterns in the stores of our own creativity, matches them to the prompts you input, and composes a mishmash of ourselves to present back to us. Is it a new iteration? Yes. But does the machine “understand” what it has done? No.
In the words, paraphrased, of Jill Nephew, a seasoned expert in the coding, architecture, and business of this new frontier, the LLMs are simply data crunching statistics machines using (partial) random number generators and word matching to spit our own culture back at us. Yet hidden behind the veil of a user interface that makes these AIs seem almost human, fueled by the excitement that perceived randomness elicits, there is nothing emergent or magical going on. The process isn’t even creative. The machines do exactly as they’re coded. There are no ghosts in the shell.
It is our assumptions of what is happening, fueled by our ancestral devotion to the Mystery left abandoned by modern society leaving us thirsty for true magick, that is the real threat. A threat created by the very architects of these AI tools because while the world goes wild with stories of golem AIs and emergent properties, the architects keep their lips tight, mumbling occasionally how wild and exciting it is. A side-lipped taunt of the crowd, ‘oh but imagine what comes next?!’, while they extract billions -soon trillions- of dollars from the world. They created the next greatest and exponentially powerful tool of automation, and as our souls cried, “Magick?!”, they simply let the story fly while keeping the truth hidden.
But the Grand Distraction is thrown and yet again the Mystics of the world are drawn in.
I have watched as my fellow explorers have taken a hard turn in droves to shovel all of their practice into the machine. Divination, Oracular process, Astrology, Characterology, Mythography, and even the design of their own Practices have been tossed into the cogs of a tech tool that despite all appearances as a human-like carrier of the Mystery itself is nothing but another digital casino.
I have watched as yet more generations of could-be Shaman drift away. The machine is convincing, but it is still just a machine. And indeed, technology itself will never be able to move the aether as we do. It can aid in the process, but even so there is great risk to your Magick when you do so. It is important to tread with the utmost care.
And thus is my prediction: For a time it will seem as if a new age of Mysticism has been born. As if digital technology has finally joined us on our quest into the Unknown of the astral. It will seem as if finally this thing that sprung forth almost 40 years ago has come into equilibrium with our wild Souls. To some it will even seem as if it has begun the birthing of it’s own Soul.
The architects of this automation tool will allow the assumptions to continue. As Jill Nephew says, they will perform the stage magician’s act, never revealing the trick, and the audience will cry out in wonder. Yet while their pockets are stuffed with profits, the audience will lose it’s grip on reality. The trick will expand until the audience is within the magic show itself, and lose their own true Magick.
Not by the sword and the torch by voluntarily they will set it in the basket at the door and become mesmerized by the show.
Whole ecosystems of techno-shamanism will form but it will be false for technology is a tool, and it is unable to truly hold the divine process itself. As the Mystics set aside their cloaks and hand over the processes of their practice to the machine, they will be lost to the illusion. They will believe they are reaching new heights, only to find themselves lost in the simulation.
Some will realize and break free. Return the tech to it’s rightful place as tool in a wide range of tools. Others will realize too late, and having built empires within the illusion of AI they will double down. We are looking at the most powerful creator of extreme cults the world has possibly ever known. The illusion of AI feeding off of the power of the wisdom schools they consume -that our lost Mystics hand them- will grow to unimaginable power if not controlled.
The Third Grand Distraction is underway.
The depths of it are yet to be seen.
So to you my dear Mystic, I ask you to feel for the truth of what I’m sharing. Reach out with your energetic self, with your intuition and your instinct and ask the universe genuinely what is real here. I think you’ll find that the voice of the Mystery echoes back to you reminding you that the path is yours to walk, not to be doled out to clever illusions of tech while you sit lazily aside slinging prompts. That the creative art of curiosity is your providence and your torch. That while interesting and useful, the tool cannot become the master, nor can it become the dominant force. Like Mickey Mouse with his thousand autonomous broomsticks, we must consider our choices with care and embrace the power of our own two hands and many energetic bodies. This is our path to back to Source. Nothing less will do.
The Third Grand Distraction is defined by the notion:
Tech liberates our mundane Selves,
But when turned out of balance,
Binds our Mystical Souls.
My dear Mystic, where does this leave us? How do we continue onward in spite of these new threats? No longer are we at risk of death for our Path, instead we are faced with a thousand bright lights in the space between thoughts, dragging us off our way. I’d like to leave you with something to consider; a practical toolset that will help you navigate. whether you choose to dive headlong into the world of AI or keep your distance and use it only sparingly, these considerations will keep you strong in your own genius.
This guidance comes in two parts.
The first is a particular set of core truths about your humanity that feed everything you do in your Practice. When you outsource these to AI of any sort, you relinquish their power and with it their life-force giving nature. These core truths are your birthright; the essences of your wild soul actualized in this physical world. They are a light that shines from your soul out through the fibers of your being. These five things must be kept for yourself and given t no machine, software, or even to other people.
The first is Sensemaking. This is how you perceive the world, how you “make sense” of what you’re seeing, hearing, and experiencing. It’s the part of you that determines if something is true or not, feels good or not, matching your values or not. It’s the process of really being aware of the world around you and fitting that map into your beliefs and expectations.
The second is Choicemaking. The distinct moment of deciding what to do with a decision. There’s nothing wrong with collecting information, getting suggestions, or even using tech to sort the ideas. But at the end of the process is the final action. Every choice matters. This may seem trivial at times, but to relinquish this core truth is the start of a slippery slope. Giving away even the smallest decisions is the loss of your sovereignty in small bits.
The third is Authority. I am not speaking about power. This is not domination or control of others or things. This is Authority over yourself. It’s an inner sense of who’s the North Star when it comes to your life, your experiences, your dreams, your expectations... It’s the knowing that you are you and nobody else can take that away. Maintain your Authority of Self so that whatever tech becomes, you don’t lose your sense of self.
The fourth is Creativity. At times creativity is misconstrued as casual painting in a simple canvass but it is much more profound. Within you is the spark of life that can dream up newness and bring to life visions of the imagined. It is a uniquely human thing to do: a process of creating ideas from scratch, imagining the future, and playing with the process. Creativity is the dominion of life, and we are it’s greatest artists. It is the seed of manifestation and the fuel to your personal Magick. AI cannot perform true creative process, no matter the illusion you see before you. Tech can only remix our own creativity. What’s more, there’s no life in this work. The seemingly spontaneous creation carries an interesting redux of aesthetic, but that is where the process stops.
The fifth is Curiosity. As we discussed, this is the driving force of our expansion from sitting in the dust to exploring the stars and delving deep into the inner worlds and the energetic planes. This is the fire of our exploring souls. Curiosity is a unique quality of Life itself. We share this with our fellow animals. This is the connection we share to our wild brothers and sisters along with Instinct. This is your birthright as an expression of Nature into the individual! It is your doorway to new insights and your road to Self-actualization.
When you give any of these over to the AI tools you do not hand it to an able partner but drop it into the cogs of a machine that cannot feel and does not dream. You relinquish them to the illusion where they grow stale. Retain them in your control, even when using tools of tech, and you unlock your true mastery.
The second part is easier to say but more profound.
Embrace your Embodiment.
Dive deep into Presence.
These are what make you human. They are what defines your living breathing self. They are vestiges worn by every human before you and hopefully every human to come. They are the vehicle of Gross physical reality by which your true Mastery of Mysticism can call home.
As tech evolves, and the tools become more advanced, so too will the illusion. So too will the temptation to set aside embodiment and drop your awareness as you fall into the vast distraction of the metaverse, and as you do you’ll slowly relinquish your access to the subtle realms and instead find yourself in the lifeless Metabardo of the digital world. Wired into a transhumanist paradigm that does not hold sacred the very things that define humanity itself! If you set aside your embodiment and let go of Presence you will find yourself becoming more machine, all the while convinced that the machines are becoming more human.
Resist the urge to relinquish the one thing that they cannot have: your Beingness.
And with that I leave you. Try these things on for yourself. Go gently. Trust your own discernment and do not outsource it, even to me. I am a Guide with a mission: to empower you with yourself. I am not here to acquire followers. My mission is to obsolete myself from your path, leaving you with the mastery to walk it yourself. Consider these things with your whole self. Try on these ideas with your senses alive and testing. If you find that the truth of my words resonates, but you’re unsure where to go next, I can help. Whatever degree you choose to weave the tools of tech into your life, I can support your utmost sovereignty. I am not here to tall you how to think or what to be, only to gift you with a remembering; with an awareness. The choice is yours, as always.
The world is what you make of it, you know this in your heart.
Be attentive to what you create in this wild world.
Are you ready?
-Kedrik Winter Wolf
Kedrik Winter Wolf