A HUGE Teleological Revamp for The Bradshacalypse Inbound
Teleology, (from Greek telos, “end,” and logos, “reason”), explanation by reference to some purpose, end, goal, or function. -- Encyclopedia Britannica
Early in the morning of August the 4th on this year of our Lord 2021, a cavalcade of insight and ideas flooded my mind as I pondered this question: "What is the purpose of this website? What is the purpose of The Bradshacalypse?"
Read on to find out what that purpose is...
Preamble, for Context
This website is nearing it's 2nd year in existence, which is pretty cool but also a little scary (as in, holy crap where did the time go!?). It doesn't seem all that long ago when I first registered the domain and set up the site way back in the ancient past of late 2019. And yet, here we are, approaching the final third of 2021. After nearly two whole years to build this website and add valuable content to it, I woefully find that I have neglected to do just that...
Other than a few simple visual revamps I've added very recently (as of this post), it's been more or less exactly the same as it was when I first built it. All it really contains is:
A lengthy description of a loosely related (but also kinda not really) project conceived almost entirely out of a moral obligation (and modeled after others' work that may not properly suit my particular talents)
And a "store" with a pitifully poor selection of merch designs based, again, on old, mostly outdated artwork.
This is unacceptable.
It's expensive to keep a website up, both in time and money, and this one is no exception. What good, then, is it doing me to spend so much time and money on a website that, not only do I not contribute to enough, but whose very purpose is questionable at best, and utterly muddled and undefined at worst?
Purpose is the Word of the Day here. Perhaps the Word of the Decade. You'll see why shortly.
The Original Purpose, sort of
Originally, the purpose of The Bradshacalypse was to act as a repository for my own output, both Creative (as in, artwork and stories), and Intellectual (as in, philosophical and esoteric musings on lofty subjects pertaining to creativity, imagination, etc.)... Nothing much beyond that; a mere dumping grounds for the stuff I make and do, which, if I'm being perfectly honest with myself, hasn't been prolific enough to even warrant such a place.
My output, both Creative and Intellectual, has been dismal since the inception of this site.
As far as my blog goes, for example, in two years I've posted five posts (not counting this one):
one's an obligatory introduction,
one's just a "hey look what I did" kinda thing,
and one is a quick mini-tutorial type of thing for a problem I'm not sure most people would even have.
As far as my artwork goes, I've made only one work of Illustration fan art since 2017, and it's just a doodle that decided to become more than just a doodle (which does happen from time to time). I've done a few slightly animated backgrounds for a couple of my Story Idea pages, but nothing more beyond that. Those pages still await something to be put on them. Anything!
What I'm getting at is that the more I look at this website, the less work I see it contains. It could be so much more, and yet it has only ever really served as an output dumping grounds in vain hopes that someone sees it... but the more I ponder this, the more I think "why would they?"
When I look at my website from the perspective of someone else, I find that it would only be interesting to someone who was already a fan of my work... assuming what little work I have produced could even garner such a fan following. Anyone new to me and my work would probably think "Okay... why should I care? Website looks nice, though, I guess."
And therein lies the problem with building something with pretty much only my needs and interests in mind. I have created something only I find useful. As one with a penchant for utilitarianism, I find this inexcusable.
Utilitarianism - philosophy : the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people. - Merriam-Webster
This is why I have felt the need to re-think the purpose of this website, the purpose of The Bradshacalypse. The seed of a purpose is embedded in the etymology of this beefy 14-character, 4 syllable word, as it's partially derived from "apocalypse", meaning "to lift the veil" or "reveal". And, with my last name, Bradshaw, merged in there with it, implies that I'm the one doing this revealing. It's a start, but still too vague - we need to get specific.
Defining a New Purpose
So, what is this new Purpose that The Bradshacalypse shall henceforth carry? What first began the aforementioned cavalcade of ideas and insight into this was when I posed the question to myself - "What problem does the existence of The Bradshacalypse solve?" After thinking about it long and hard for a while, I've come up with this:
The Bradshacalypse strives to provide, both through creative example and intellectual discourse, novel ways of thinking about Art, Creativity, the Imagination, and all other related enterprises by looking back to the ancient esoteric traditions of antiquity that have been either grossly misunderstood by or utterly lost to our modern modalities of thinking. Through this, it seeks to revivify, rejuvenate, and refresh old, outdated, habituated modern modes of thought that permeate the Arts to its detriment; modes of thought that are mired in cynicism, nihilism, egotism, will to power and fame, and other ideologies antagonistic to the Human Spirit and, dare I say, the Will of Creation.
To further break it down based on Problem and Solution:
Problem: The world, as it stands at the moment, appears to have gone off the rails in a number of ways, including its thinking about the Arts. Modern thinking in regards to Art and Creativity is tainted with lowly, base goals of ego-gratification, money-grubbing, propaganda for dangerous inhuman ideologies, and pretentious accolades; all of which do the act of Creation a great disservice. The Arts and all other Creative endeavors are so much more important to Humanity as transformative works - shamanic tools with the potential to change people's lives, and that healing potential is being squandered at an alarming rate during a time in history where its full utilization could help reverse Humanity's collective descent into Hell.
Solution: Looking back at old, forgotten or misunderstood esoteric traditions, we may very well rediscover a set of Values long since discarded as outdated, passe, and in opposition to the egos of modern "creatives"; Values that could inject some much needed life back into Humanity's creative endeavors, that it may once again, like it did long, long ago, nourish the soul and help pull us out of the mess we have gotten ourselves into.
That's a lofty way of saying that the current trends of thought suck ass and don't do anybody any favors, and The Bradshacalypse ain't having any of it.
The Importance of Changing Minds
You'll notice in that statement that there is a big emphasis on thought, on modes of thinking, and changing them for the better. This is because, as the Buddha once said, "with our Thoughts, we make the world." There's something to the notion of Thoughts becoming Things. Many ancient traditions speak of this, and even some modern alternative views echo this sentiment. From the First Hermetic Law of Mentalism (that all stems from Mind) as described in The Kybalion, to Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, we find a recurring pattern - that the act of Creation, what all Artists strive for, starts with the quality of one's Thoughts.
"You get what you think about most of the time..." -Earl Nightingale, The Strangest Secret
"What the Mind can conceive, and will itself to believe, it can achieve." - Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
"As you think, so shall you become." - Bruce Lee
"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. If we want to change the world we have to change our thinking...no problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew." - Albert Einstein
So basically, assuming this is true, then if you change your Mind, you change your Life. If enough people change their Minds, then that will inevitably change the World. And this is just what I would like for The Bradshacalypse to be; a Mind-Changer; a jovial alchemical engine through which the Lead of ignorance and deception may be processed and transmuted into the Gold of Understanding.
But you might be reading all of this talk of thought, thinking it a bunch of hippy-dippy bullshit. If you do indeed think that, if your ego is so calcified that you can't even entertain an idea that doesn't fit in with your hard-wired neural patterns of self-defeating, life-denying thinking, then, well... I don't know what to tell you, other than keep living that way and see where it gets you. Meanwhile, I'm going to keep my thought patterns good and flexible, so I can think a thought I like that might end up becoming a thing I like.
"Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right." – Henry Ford
What's Old is New Again
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 1:9
You'll notice, too, that I mentioned "ancient esoteric traditions of antiquity", and referring back to those old ways to provide new ways of thinking... Seems like a paradox, or oxymoron or something doesn't it? How can something old, even ancient, be used to usher in a new way of thinking? Simply put; what's old is new again. When something's been forgotten, it becomes something new once re-remembered.
Think the Italian Renaissance for example. For hundreds of years (supposedly), the knowledge of the more advanced Greek culture was utterly lost... until it wasn't anymore, and from that "old" knowledge came a "new" era. Something similar could happen in our time. How neat would that be, huh?
It's pretty clear to me that the current state of philosophy has decayed to the point of virtual non-existence. How many philosophers do you know? How many people who merely claim to be philosophers do you know? How many people do you know that even know what philosophy even is? Probably not very many. With that, I rest my case.
And by "philosophy" I don't just mean parroting Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. Sure, we all know about them, but how many people truly think for themselves? I see all the time in videos online and podcasts and such where people quote other famous thinkers as arguments for whatever point they may be making, with little to none of their own input on the matter. This "appeal to authority" seems to be an intellectual epidemic, and it drives me nuts. Its as if people lack the guts to think for themselves, to present their own conclusions about things.
And the sad thing is, those that do think for themselves are very often criticized for doing so! For example, think what you will about the likes of certain "Truthers"; be they right or be they wrong, at least let them present their cases! We need discussions amongst eclectic thinkers where the intellectual dross of mediocre minds can be burned away in the heat of debates so that Truth alone remains - not these predefined axioms from on high by some snooty academic priest class who so audaciously and arrogantly presume they already know everything... but I digress, for that is a topic for another time...
-- Begun, the Culture Wars have... --
“Groups are grammatical fictions; only individuals exist, and each individual is different.” - Robert Anton Wilson
Philosophy, the love of Truth and its pursuit, has all but vanished in favor of rigid, unquestioned ideologies of egoistic obsession with identity, which, ironically, makes those adherents of such that much more homogenized, intellectually speaking - ironically losing their identity in the process. Y o u k n o w w h o I ' m t a l k i n g a b o u t . . .
When I see the current state of the likes of comics, animation, video games, and just popular culture in general, I see a vast wasteland - the once fertile fields of the human Imagination poisoned with noxious ideologies. Propagandists, alien to the humanity upon which they tread, cast their filthy seed into the soil in hopes of calling forth their grand Utopia of melanin and genital diversity with ideological uniformity... only for the sprouts to wither in their very presence...
What I'm trying to say through waxing poetic here is that idiot ideologues have hijacked popular culture and are forcing their ideology into it. However, little do they know that a rigid ideological foundation does not a story or work of art make. Notice nothing new endures anymore? This is why! If only they knew a little more about Jungian psychology, of archetypes, of the Hero's Journey... y'know, human things that humans relate to and resonate with? But, I dunno, I guess humanness is "toxic" and not "woke" enough or some shit.
I'm sure the vitriol is palpable in my writing about this. While it does upset me that our culture is being commandeered by spiteful, brainwashed dumb-asses, the Trickster in me finds their constant failure hilarious. Nothing they produce lasts! Everything they get their grubby little hands on withers into dust, like some kind of anti-Midas' touch. And they're never, ever satisfied with what they get, either. It's never enough, and never will be. And that will be their downfall. Nobody has to confront them, or fight them, or anything. This Culture War we find ourselves in will be won by enemy infighting, we need not so much as lift a finger in retaliation. Meanwhile, us normal folk can get back to our normal folk lives.
"The Shaman is a person who is able to transcend the dimensional confines of cultural existence. They know more than the people they serve. The people they serve are like children within the game of culture. Only the shaman knows that culture is a game. Everyone else takes it seriously. That's how he can do his magic." - Terrence McKenna
Anyway, enough Culture War talk, what I'm getting at here is that at some point (probably soon) there will come a time when this postmodern, or post-postmodern, or whatever it is, this current decadent way of thinking will be revealed to be the inhuman sham that it is, and with its collapse will come a kind of philosophy vacuum. What better time than to re-introduce some of this ancient esoteric knowledge, to de-occult that which has been occulted (a very misunderstood word which merely means "hidden" and nothing more)!
This kind of arcane stuff has always interested me, but the more I really delve into it, the more I learn the real teaching behind such traditions as Kabbalah, Tarot, Alchemy, Free Masonry, Theosophy, Shamanism, etc., the more I find things that could yield great utility for our modern times, especially to Artists and other Creatives, as we are the Modern Shaman. See the video in my first post for more on that interesting subject... or just read this quote:
"I believe that magic is art, and that art, whether that be music, writing, sculpture, or any other form, is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words or images, to achieve changes in consciousness… Indeed to cast a spell is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change peoples consciousness, and this is why I believe that an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world to a shaman." - Alan Moore
So, with The Bradshacalypse, I would like to expose more of these antique traditions to a modern audience in a fun, modern way. Again, that's my own Trickster nature seeping through; I gotta have a little fun doing what I do. I'm not the serious type in the least... in case you couldn't tell by all the stupid cartoon drawings. Speaking of which, that leads us nicely into the next point I'd like to make...
Veritas et Hilaritas!
You may have noticed this Latin phrase in a shiny 50's Googie-style font just below the logo at the header of the site. Translated, it roughly means "Truth and Cheer", which pretty much sums up The Bradshacalypse in as succinct a nutshell as I could humanly muster. While I want people to learn and grow and improve their thinking and thus their lives, though the underlying message and intent of The Bradshacalypse is serious to some degree, I don't want to come across that way. I don't subscribe to the idea that a serious topic must always be presented in a solemn way... if it's a positive one, that is. Something terrible or tragic could probably afford to forgo the jokes.
While feeling good and having fun may be seen as somewhat trivial or unimportant to some, I feel that Joy is a virtue just as much as Truthfulness, Generosity, Courage, Justice, Modesty, Humility, Kindness, or Love. And I'm not talking about simple ego-gratification, either. I'm not talking about surface-level "happiness". Indulgence in some vice like alcohol or porn might make you "happy" in the moment, but as soon as you come to your senses, that "happiness" is out the door, fast. When I speak of Joy, I'm referring to that deep, lasting spirit of "all is well" that might manifest in a number of ways - Contentment, Relief, Exhilaration, Thrill, Peace of Mind, Ecstasy, Exuberance, whatever you want to call it.
I'm of the opinion that in order to do good, one must first feel good. I mean, try getting something done (particularly something you generally love to do) when you're in a crappy mood. Then compare the results to doing that thing while in a good mood, and review the results. You'll see what I mean.
Feeling good is also one of the key ingredients in manifesting through what's been called the Law of Attraction... yes, that Law of Attraction, which is more involved than sitting on your ass visualizing your dream car all day until it drives up into your garage, just so you know. According to this Natural Law, like attracts like, so when one feels as if they already have the thing they want, something that would elicit that positive emotional response (such as the thing they want, for instance) must appear in one's experience. Most people think the thing causes the feeling, which may be true, but perhaps its also true that the feeling causes the thing! That might explain why more good things happen when you're in a good mood, and vice versa.
And, again, you may see this as more hippy-dippy bullshit, and again, I invite you to continue thinking that way and continue to wonder why you never get what you want out of life. I don't understand this pervasive attitude of cynicism and mean-spiritedness that makes out positive emotion (or sometimes emotion in general) as being "uncool" or something. Fuck that nonsense, I'm gonna be as happy and joyful as I can stand, I don't care what anyone thinks.
Also, if you subscribe to the notion of psychic vampirism, particularly those nonphysical ones that researchers like Jerry Marzinsky talk about (sometimes called "archons"), being truly Joyful is like repellent; it keeps them the hell away because you're on a higher spiritual frequency, one that they can't stand. I know that sounds like craziness, but trust me - there's absolutely something to this, and I know from first hand experience.
...wow, what an unfittingly ominous way to end the section on Joy and Happiness. Whoops! Let me correct that.
"Man suffers only because he takes seriously that which the gods made for fun." - Alan Watts
I just want to help you, fellow Creative, Shaman in the making, to improve your creative output through my offerings of new modes of thinking, new philosophies to apply, and perhaps make you laugh or smile in the process.
What A New Bradshacalypse Might Look Like
So then, if the entire core Purpose of The Bradshacalypse is completely overhauled and revamped, how does that translate to the actual website itself? What changes could be expected in the near future?
Well, since this revelation is so new, I haven't had just a whole lot of time to think about that. More ideas will come in due time, but from what I can tell at the moment, I know there's gonna be less of an emphasis on myself. Not that I still won't use this site as I was previously as a repository for my creative and intellectual output, but that won't be all it is. After all, how am I supposed to serve as an example of my own creative philosophies if I don't even have any work to show for, right?
I imagine there will be better organization of my works as well. Maybe I'll categorize them differently or something. I might also further de-emphasize my older art, just kinda put them in a corner somewhere for shits and giggles.
Also, definitely more quality blog posts can be expected. What a perfect medium for jotting down ideas for mass communication, and yet I've barely used it as of this post... but not anymore! I'll utilize this blog to the best of my ability, that's for sure.
I've even toyed around with the idea of creating interactive segments in Unreal Engine 4, seeing as it has HTML5 exporting capabilities. That would be really cool, and be an example of the out-of-the-box thinking about creative endeavors (such as a website) that I want to inspire into others. That'll absolutely be attempted sometime in the near future, so look forward to that; games and interactive media embedded directly into the site itself! How nifty would that be!
So, anyway, in conclusion, The Bradshacalypse is gonna change, big time, and pretty soon too. No longer will it serve as merely a place for some random Internet asshole's goofy cartoon art, but as a place to foster a New Creative Paradigm that takes its foundation from the time-tested Values of old, so that it may change creative minds, from anywhere and everywhere, for the better.
A Seed is planted.
A Sylvan Dream now begins
to take root and grow...