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SpaceBrain

Thoughts on metal and negativity

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I think many from at least a certain generation have grown up listening to more and more extreme music over time. This has sometimes coincided with a general interest in the extreme, and often dark, for those for whom metal wasn't "enough".

Sometimes it can be a benefit to indulge in something dark, or heavy, or radical, or whatever it is. I know this one person who is older and a bit uptight about etiquette, and a bit of a pushover. Sometimes I just imagine if he listened to death metal until he liked it that it'd balance out his personality lol. There's also the issue of acceptance. Sometimes negativity in life is unavoidable, and we have to accept it. If you try to force yourself to be above your baseline happiness all the time, then you might hit a crashing point when you lack the energy to keep that up. And while you're in some storm of negativity, it can help you cope to indulge in something more extreme. Obviously the coping benefits need to be weighed with the potential consequences. 

Every person has the capacity to enjoy a wide variety of activities and experiences. And it's sometimes worth pursuing some of the more negative or extreme experiences (sometimes!). It can also be worth it to pursue a knowledge of negative and extreme experiences. I've recently became very fascinated in the minds of people who took something to the extreme. 

Anyway these thoughts could go on almost forever, but I'll stop it here. 

 

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1 hour ago, SpaceBrain said:

indulge in something dark, or heavy, or radical, or whatever it is.

That's generally called ritual magic. The point is "intellectual decompression".

People do it in many ways. Playing loud music and headbanging is helpful for dealing with edgy emotions. It's an outlet which is separated from the actual context those feelings exist within (that's what makes it ritual), but it's quite real, that fact notwithstanding, so that it works according to its purpose, without being the purpose in and of itself (that's what makes it magic). 

Some thoughts on "Optimistic Nihilism":

 

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Honestly, I have always just liked the aesthetics of dark themes.  Listening to negative music does not make me feel dark, and often feels quite meditative to me (depending on the song/band/genre).

12 hours ago, MaxFaust said:

That's generally called ritual magic. The point is "intellectual decompression".

People do it in many ways. Playing loud music and headbanging is helpful for dealing with edgy emotions. It's an outlet which is separated from the actual context those feelings exist within (that's what makes it ritual), but it's quite real, that fact notwithstanding, so that it works according to its purpose, without being the purpose in and of itself (that's what makes it magic). 

Some thoughts on "Optimistic Nihilism":

 

I'm not sure how much I agree with this video.  There seem to be philosophically justifiable positions that are able to posit some objective sources of meaning and purpose.  Furthermore, it goes nowhere to discount the validity of said positions.

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Just embrace the darkness, it´s part of everyones life in one moment or another, theres just no avoiding it. I don´t agree that any music alone will change your personality though, i think certain type of personality is drawn towards certain type of music. Life experiences is what will alter your personality mostly (I suppose music is part of it though!). It´s a process that will continue until you die, and to fully benefit from it, you need to intentionally process these things to help you make a person you wish to be. 

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To me, negativity is despair, sadness, being manipulated, and toxic relationships/people...but not anger!!! And I think that the vast majority of people have experienced at least some of the above at some point in their lives.

Some deal with it by finding comfort in drugs and alcohol, some just learn to live with it, some copy the behavior of those abusing them to in, out of sheer frustration,  kick those who are below in the pecking order...and then there are those who find a much healthier way to deal with the shyte life offers you by using the arts as an outlet...in this case metal music!

There is nothing negative about metal music...it has never made me feel abused, manipulated, or decieved. There is a lot of brainwashing, toxicity, and abuse going in this at many times screwed up worlds of ours, but if that is what one craves then all one needs to do is to read a news site or turn on the T.V...not listen to metal!

On my music blog which due to certain circumstances is a bit dead at the moment, I wrote about goth music, another to many, dark genre. To me darkness is not negativity, it is creativness, self expression -and awareness etc. it is not always but in many cases a very healthy way to deal with life's hurdles etc. The people who are really suffering are those who are so scared of the darkness that they let bright illusions lead them astray!

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20 hours ago, Tortuga said:

The people who are really suffering are those who are so scared of the darkness that they let bright illusions lead them astray!

Metal in many ways rejects the norms of society (though it is worth noting that it has many norms of its own).  Breaking away from the herd provides one with an interesting level of objectivity about society that could not otherwise be achieved from within.  Just because something is normal, popular, or "light" does not entail that it has any quality or insights to offer.  In many ways, the people who deliberately do something unusual or different often have the most to offer and learn from.

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8 hours ago, Balor said:

Metal in many ways rejects the norms of society (though it is worth noting that it has many norms of its own).  Breaking away from the herd provides one with an interesting level of objectivity about society that could not otherwise be achieved from within.  Just because something is normal, popular, or "light" does not entail that it has any quality or insights to offer.  In many ways, the people who deliberately do something unusual or different often have the most to offer and learn from.

My thoughts exactly!

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22 hours ago, Balor said:

Breaking away from the herd provides one with an interesting level of objectivity about society that could not otherwise be achieved from within.

This is abso-fucking-lutely correct. What y'all young ones may not think about right now is ... where does this leave me 30 years down the road? As a time travelling reporter who's been there and seen that, I can inform you that you stand to gain exactly fuck all by giving up your independence of mind and body. Those who did invariably became old and fat and boring. Yeah they got some money, a bit of job security and a fine car or whatever, but they lost their souls. Keep that in mind, boys and girls. This battle isn't over until they start shovelling dirt down over your cold dead body.

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On 5/18/2018 at 11:24 PM, MaxFaust said:

This is abso-fucking-lutely correct. What y'all young ones may not think about right now is ... where does this leave me 30 years down the road? As a time travelling reporter who's been there and seen that, I can inform you that you stand to gain exactly fuck all by giving up your independence of mind and body. Those who did invariably became old and fat and boring. Yeah they got some money, a bit of job security and a fine car or whatever, but they lost their souls. Keep that in mind, boys and girls. This battle isn't over until they start shovelling dirt down over your cold dead body.

For me though, it's more like the old Manowar saying, "If it's not in your blood, you'll never understand". The people who were generally into heavy music and a philosophical/individual outlook on life as teenagers are still that way today, twenty years later.

Those who are fat and boring today were thin and boring 20 years ago. I'm sure there are people out there who used to live life their own way and who now don't, but I think once the fire is lit, it tends to stay with you through the different phases of life. 

Take me for an example. I've got a family, house and all the ingredients that should render me a suburban untermensch, like the sorry sacks of shit who pass for my brothers-in-law. But I bring the Mayhemic spirit of atavistic screams to bbqs, while they bring pasta salad. 

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13 hours ago, salmonellapancake said:

Honestly, I don't give a shit about what people consider "dark" or "negative". For me, my life is about Extreme Metal, and the Occult. And those are two of the best things that have ever happened to me.

I guess that this just brings up one of the original questions again.  Why does this extreme form of art so appealing to some while alienating to many others?

Also, what do you refer to when you say "occult?"

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2 hours ago, Balor said:

I guess that this just brings up one of the original questions again.  Why does this extreme form of art so appealing to some while alienating to many others?

Also, what do you refer to when you say "occult?"

I like to read up on anything concerning paganism, satanism, demonology, etc. I guess religion/spirituality is a big part of my life in general, but that stuff makes up the majority of it. I'm also really into Buddhism.

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8 hours ago, salmonellapancake said:

I like to read up on anything concerning paganism, satanism, demonology, etc. I guess religion/spirituality is a big part of my life in general, but that stuff makes up the majority of it. I'm also really into Buddhism.

Have you ever read the Dao De Jing?

Also, any books that you would recommend?

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15 minutes ago, Balor said:

Have you ever read the Dao De Jing?

Also, any books that you would recommend?

I have not, but it's on my list!

The book I learned the most from was the encyclopedia of demons and demonology by rosemary ellen guiley so I would definitely recommend that. Also, Milton's Paradise Lost, as well as Paradise Regained, are great epic poems about Satan's fall and following events. Also, this is a bit harder to find but there is a book called magic in the middle ages which is part of a series called cambridge medieval textbooks. It's by Richard Kieckhefer. Also a very interesting book.

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11 hours ago, salmonellapancake said:

I have not, but it's on my list!

The book I learned the most from was the encyclopedia of demons and demonology by rosemary ellen guiley so I would definitely recommend that. Also, Milton's Paradise Lost, as well as Paradise Regained, are great epic poems about Satan's fall and following events. Also, this is a bit harder to find but there is a book called magic in the middle ages which is part of a series called cambridge medieval textbooks. It's by Richard Kieckhefer. Also a very interesting book.

I will keep an eye out for the demonology book - it sounds interesting!  Paradise Lost is a book that I have been wanting to read, but I imagine that it is very difficult to get through.  I would think that it would require some reference material to understand it completely.

I would highly recommend the Dao De Jing.  It is very interesting, and can be read in the course of an afternoon.

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33 minutes ago, salmonellapancake said:

Paradise Lost is actually a surprisingly easy read. If you get a classics edition with some good footnotes, it goes rather smoothly. And cool, I'll have to get on that sooner than later!

Good point, I will have to go find one sometime soon (preferably with the Dore illustrations!).

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3 hours ago, salmonellapancake said:

Anybody here truly a misanthrope? Sometimes I feel like I am. It's interesting to think about what it takes for a person to take on that mindset. I think it goes hand in hand with Metal, especially Black Metal.

You’re a pretty sociable misanthrope, if that’s the case.

I’m a puritanical euphoric misanthrope. Did you see what I did there?

I love books like Albert Camus’ ‘The Outsider’ and Herman Hesse’s ‘Steppenwolf’ that explore, if not misanthropy, at least a rejection of mainstream values and expectations.

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On 6/13/2018 at 6:31 AM, salmonellapancake said:

Anybody here truly a misanthrope?

Aye. I am. Which is probably why all those black metal boys like me so much.

There's nothing admireable about the human race. We're basically just stupid monkeys, not even smart enough to recognise the good shit that we've got. So we fuck it up and turn it all to worthless crap. Again and again, with the idiot dance of "success" and sieg heil to the industry and corporate mindlessness. 

BTW ... the word "occult" means hidden. As in hidden from sight, from the obviousity of rational thought and logic. In many ways, sex is occult ... because it's a thing that's hidden and feared, something that everybody has to figure out for themselves, what it means and how they wish to relate to it, but it's an important thing to most people so it will not be denied.

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22 minutes ago, MaxFaust said:

Aye. I am. Which is probably why all those black metal boys like me so much.

There's nothing admireable about the human race. We're basically just stupid monkeys, not even smart enough to recognise the good shit that we've got. So we fuck it up and turn it all to worthless crap. Again and again, with the idiot dance of "success" and sieg heil to the industry and corporate mindlessness. 

BTW ... the word "occult" means hidden. As in hidden from sight, from the obviousity of rational thought and logic. In many ways, sex is occult ... because it's a thing that's hidden and feared, something that everybody has to figure out for themselves, what it means and how they wish to relate to it, but it's an important thing to most people so it will not be denied.

Very interesting. I didn't know that was the meaning of "occult". If sex is occult, then I'm a practicioner!!

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I've always experienced a lot of judgment for listening to very dark or very hard/heavy music, especially with me being female. Everyone thinks I should always be happy and positive etc and that I should like pretty pink things and puppies and bubblegum pop songs. If I listen to metal they worry or discourage it.

Many people I know have a belief that metal will "corrupt" me or others

I would say that overall I'm not a dark or light kind of person, I live in both sides of the spectrum

I think you touched on something real when you said that darkness is beneficial just like light, and that reality has its dark aspects which cannot be avoided

I think we live in a society that wants us to avoid certain realities and only focus on the positive ones, but I think that theres a lot that can be learned and enjoyed on the darker side of things, too

Many have worried about me due to the concepts that some of the albums that i like are about. But I see metal albums and songs as pieces of art. These aren't things for me to emulate, they are creative works that express a certain emotion or experience. I'm able to keep that separate from who I am and how I view the world, myself and my life.

If I go to a horror movie or an art exhibit with extreme themes, that doesn't really say anything about me. I just went and consumed some art. And I view negativity or darkness in metal the same way - as merely some art I consumed

Sometimes I'm in a dark place and so I'm really personally vibing with the themes in the music I listen to but sometimes I'm happy or positive and I'm just listening to metal because I appreciate the artistic complexity of it. Or the intensity of the expression

Maybe I have a stronger appreciation for darkness and that's why I like metal and horror movies so much, but I don't think it's really something to worry about or analyze too deeply

I don't know if I stayed on topic here, I hope I did

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6 hours ago, Benni said:

I've always experienced a lot of judgment for listening to very dark or very hard/heavy music, especially with me being female. Everyone thinks I should always be happy and positive etc and that I should like pretty pink things and puppies and bubblegum pop songs. If I listen to metal they worry or discourage it.

Many people I know have a belief that metal will "corrupt" me or others

I would say that overall I'm not a dark or light kind of person, I live in both sides of the spectrum

I think you touched on something real when you said that darkness is beneficial just like light, and that reality has its dark aspects which cannot be avoided

I think we live in a society that wants us to avoid certain realities and only focus on the positive ones, but I think that theres a lot that can be learned and enjoyed on the darker side of things, too

Many have worried about me due to the concepts that some of the albums that i like are about. But I see metal albums and songs as pieces of art. These aren't things for me to emulate, they are creative works that express a certain emotion or experience. I'm able to keep that separate from who I am and how I view the world, myself and my life.

If I go to a horror movie or an art exhibit with extreme themes, that doesn't really say anything about me. I just went and consumed some art. And I view negativity or darkness in metal the same way - as merely some art I consumed

Sometimes I'm in a dark place and so I'm really personally vibing with the themes in the music I listen to but sometimes I'm happy or positive and I'm just listening to metal because I appreciate the artistic complexity of it. Or the intensity of the expression

Maybe I have a stronger appreciation for darkness and that's why I like metal and horror movies so much, but I don't think it's really something to worry about or analyze too deeply

I don't know if I stayed on topic here, I hope I did

You sure did.

This is a really interesting post, and gives an interesting perspective in relation to what people expect of you due to your gender. I hadn't really considered that angle before. Nice post. 

Stay metal! 

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