Greetings and best new year regards from the grotesque edge of mountain living. Having not done any writing for Dependent Press for awhile, I felt the ghost of my better self calling. Instead of focusing on a musician this time, I wanted to focus on a person who influences me and who challenges me to be aware. This uncompromising bugger also has quite an affinity for recognizing the better culture of current music, which we at Dependent Press have made a prerequisite for our subjects. We initially crossed paths after he discovered French Radio, whom I ran a piece on in 2014, and I was implored for the real identity of the mystery man through email. We have stayed in contact, and I am pleased to say this feature is my contribution to DP coming full circle.
Let me introduce you to Jasun Horsley, who has an internet and literary presence in today’s confusing artistic climate. He currently runs a weekly podcast and blog on auticulture.com which focus on liminalism and “extra-consensual perceptions.” His latest book Seen & Not Seen: Confessions of a Movie Autist was released in January of 2015 by Zer0 Books. This current work spins on an axis of larger than life characters from some of the most pivotal roles that are etched into our subconscious, while examining the culture that spun the silk for our current neurotic mass identities. He basically breaks down the players in films that inspired him through his life and shaped his self-awareness, only to take on the primal examination and dissection of every facet surrounding the industry in society. Reading this book, I began to understand his emphasis on liminalism more than I had grasped before by simply being an observer of his online activity. Although his writing focuses on film and culture, it is peppered with comical narratives and biographical musings.
I honestly do not want to paraphrase what The Liminalist contributes to progressive thought. JH keeps quite active attempting to share his gift of communicating truths. As a film auteur, he has grown into somewhat of a shaman by making our human afflictions less agonizing. JH is not politically motivated, nor is he overtly religious or preachy; so he makes for safe observance for anyone standing upright and possessing the will to improve their shitty lives.
JH, the shaman, has been a professional film critic, published writer, world traveler, street-walker, pariah and loner; but his public oration has much wisdom and a calming, hypnotic charm. His film analysis and influences can be found in his numerous books available on Amazon. He is a cynic of Kubrick, and has refreshing views on films in culture/identity. Not being a musician himself, I don’t hammer him with that rhetoric, although he does have have his reservations. He prefers folk or quiet music to put it simply. Being mainly influenced by Elvis Presley,David Bowie,Talking Heads and Swans ( in that order) as a youngster, now he finds musicians he prefers through Free Music Archive and Soundcloud. He recommends Origami Conspiracy and Big Blood, but to hear more of his web discoveries listen to his podcast, which includes musical interludes.
To fit into society is to become insane.
DP: You make constant references to autism and the spectrum (ASD). Can you talk a little about autism and how it affects you?
JH: I suppose the whole idea of autism, as brain damage or a disorder of some kind, is something I object to, even though I understand it can be really challenging in severe cases. I see it as a different perceptual mode. On one extreme of the spectrum you have unfocused awareness, experiencing all the senses together, like synesthesia. On the other end of the spectrum you have this incredibly bounded awareness, what’s known as a psychopath….locked into a very tight perceptual bandwidth…. I wasn’t aware of being socially different as a child, but I was aware of a having a perceptual quirk which seemed to be some kind of disorder. I had a difficulty, I felt unreal as a kid…. I was aware I was an anomaly.
…the whole American nightmare is built on this idea of pursuing happiness.
DP: There is a lot of emphasis on tolerance and obeying social norms so that we don’t offend each other these days. What are your reflections on this idea, and what causes it in society?
JH: Tolerance is “how do we put this person in a box so we don’t have to think about them.” The whole enforcing of tolerance is very intolerant. I’m intolerant of lies, I’m intolerant of pretending, of distortions of the truth, and I want to become less tolerant of them. I am really intolerant of people who tell me what the right way to think is, even though those people are propagating tolerance.
Everything’s about people’s feelings now, and how you have to be politically correct so people don’t get their feelings hurt, or get triggered, but that’s the point of the world (to trigger us). We’ve created this massive distortion of society because of our internal distortion, and then the distortion of society is there to draw our attention to our internal disorders, so that we can address them. Every time we’ve been triggered by the world that’s an opportunity to see that the trigger is something installed in us but it’s not us…being socialized is not really desirable, but learning that actually the ways in which we’ve been socialized to fit in with a society are just insane. To fit into society is to become insane.
The pursuit of happiness is what identity politics are: “Who am I? I should be able to make my own choices about who I am so I can be happy.” This is supposed to be this unchallengeable value [but] the whole American nightmare is built on this idea of pursuing happiness. It does need to be challenged.
DP: Now, you use a lot of intriguing language and words that some may not be familiar with. Can you break some of these down so we don’t lose anyone? Let’s start with “individuation” and what that means to you.
JH: Individuation is identifying our delusions. The problem is, if you’re deluded, you don’t know you’re deluded. The way around this is by looking outside of you and seeing the ways in which the world is mirroring that inner distortion. It has to do with being inner-oriented so that all of our impulses that drive our actions are coming from an internal sense, as opposed to being externally influenced, so it’s responding to a movement of the psyche within the body that comes from the deepest part of us, as opposed to reacting to something that’s outside of us. Until we individuate, we’re not able to simply respond to our own awareness, we can only react to triggers outside of us. Individuation is clearing out that internal program of parental and social conditioning…..Like unplugging from the matrix.
DP: Explain liminalism in your own words.
JH: Liminality is a threshold. For example, were supposed to pass through an adolescence, that’s a liminal period, when we’re neither one thing or the other. There are actual rituals that allowed that to happen in tribal society, whereby the child would know they were entering a new state. Adolescence is the emerging of sexuality, which makes us adults. Those urges can be overwhelming and overpowering yet they can’t be acted on all the time. Like Freud said, civilization is suppression, if we don’t suppress our sexual urges there would be no society. That’s the theory. In terms of a small community: children growing into adults and their sexuality is awakening, how do you create a context in which they can integrate their sexuality and begin to express it in a way that feels safe and natural and wholesome? That was what the liminal ritual was about I think, and we don’t have that in our culture. We transition through adolescence without ever really understanding or feeling safe around our own sexuality, we feel ashamed about it, we feel fear about it, so we never become adults or sexually responsible, emotionally balanced, psychologically whole; the soul doesn’t land in the body fully. Freudian wrote about “genital organization,” when the libido or life force gets trapped in the genitals. This is related to the ego as well. Through trauma we create this compartmentalized, fragmented awareness that keeps us safe from (the pain of) a full body experience. Individuation is arrested.
DP: You mention the occult frequently in your blog. Can you touch upon how the occult has influenced your life and possibly the idea of evil?
JH: I was into Crowley for a number of years but never really got ritualistic. I learned all the symbolism and thought I was, pretty deep in a psychosis or ego inflation, an avatar of Lucifer, one of the bodies Lucifer was incarnating in. I had visions dreams and waking experiences that confirmed that. But now, looking back, I tend to think what was going on was more to do with trauma and disowned fragments of my psyche that broke off and became powerful in their own isolated realm. Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven,that’s the Lucifer archetype. When I thought Lucifer was taking over my life, and I was becoming a God, it was a trauma fragment that identified with my abuser, whoever that was, that was taking me over. We have this collective psychological trauma that instills us with this pathological will to power, to become powerful. The only way to do that is by identifying with the part of us that fragmented when we were abused, by identifying with the abuser.
What’s the fruit of good and evil? It’s when we’re raised as children and we’re told “well done” or “that was wrong,” that early conditioning is essentially reward and punishment, and it’s arbitrary. Our parents don’t know the difference between good and evil, no one does, it’s not knowable. We do something that is a natural expression or response to our environment and we’re told we’re bad and then we’re made to feel we are somehow bad by our “gods,” our parents, our overlords.
Those are his words. Mine would be to listen to his podcast and hear his voice.His current podcast, The Liminalist, features intimate dialogues with other artists and truth seekers that are not wealthy or popular, but genuine. We did agree on the fact that there is no need to waste time on the internet with artists fixated on numbers and followers, there is a profusion of great music and art online for free from humble everyday people that suffer like the rest of us.
Be sure to check out the counterpart of this feature on The Liminalist Podcast where you can hear the entire encounter that birthed this new year writing (as well as his podcast with French Radio!!). Also take a moment to visit, and subscribe, to Jasun’s Youtube channel which is amusing and enlightening during moments that don’t afford you the luxury of diving into his books or podcasts. If you have made it this far then you can surely digest The Liminalist’s contributions to the printed word. If nothing else, his words will help you to make sense of why you (or everyone else, if you’re in denial) are so goddamned miserable; maybe you’ll get some insight on new ways of processing the sensory pollution and conditioning that render us self-destructive androids.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR” (or whatever slogan gets you by)