Digital Occult: A Basic Cultural Primer

While I’m going to expound on this further both in this entry and subsequent ones to come, I’m going to just spell out what’s taking place before segmenting it further: we live in Integral Reality. The virtual is fully ensconced within the Real and is consuming the Real, and the supersensible has collapsed into Reason. Arguments can be made about the nature of this process along with the timetables, (Baudrillard identifying “integral reality” in the 90s, McLuhan regarding the electrification of the society in the 70s), however it’s clear that this process has taken place. Mythic Time has emerged (again?).

This entry is really for those that need a schematic linking of the topics being explored. I’m going to be honest in saying that this is probably some of my sloppiest and poorest writing to date (outside of intentional stream-of-consciousness low-effort posting) and I’m not very happy with it. It’s extremely hard to posit a cultural primer to this that’s not either book length or too esoteric to serve as said primer. If the following reads that you already know it already, honestly the subsequent entries that are actually dealing with the digital-occult subjects explicitly are likely going to be more interesting for you. Most of these points are going to be separately developed, so should any of them stand out particularly, there will likely be further explicit reference to them.

    If you are roughly a middle-millennial around 30 years old and were heavily involved in some of the more influential online spheres, you are part of a priest class that holds living knowledge about internet esoterica and are likely becoming increasingly aware of that fact. This isn’t really talked about in detail. I understand there’s always generational and class analysis, there’s media analysis, etc, but this a unique event that isn’t framed as such. While Boomers invented the Internet and Gen-X set up key infrastructure to tune out in, I would say that Millennials developed the megatextual content in which culture references and is ensconced within now. Not only that, but many of these people were high-ability introverts who realized their station in the Real was to be forgotten. The following process is rather diagrammatical but I’ll list it out. Note that this is extremely simplistic and I’ll be expounding on timelines and eras later. 

  1. (Dial-up) The Internet hits mass-consumer availability and is referenced as a place that you go to. There are limited access points and limited fidelity. Largely organization, communication, etc. Harder to access and limited access, takes a level of nuance to navigate meaningfully outside of a gimmick. Contained.
  2. (Broadband) The Internet is much more navigable. Search engines, video, rapid-image availability, you can more easily surf. Broadband is also marked by explicitly being a post-2001 technological development in terms of mass-consumer availability. Self awareness of memes. Begins breaking containment: antiquated, corny memes start getting spewed but identified as lame. *IMAGEBOARDS* (4chan)
  3. (Facebook) The internet firmly moves from being an Anti-Oedipal framework to an explicitly Oedipal one. The Internet becomes personed. People as a brand, networking, social media, family hierarchical formatting. Facebook marks a mass entry into the internet by lower socioeconomic classes via availability through the smartphone. Mass centralization. The Internet effectively becomes the Holy Roman Empire. Legacy websites fading. Mass self-awareness about memes. Accepted within the real and referenced/talked about openly. 
  4. (Exodus) Discord, Twitter, Insta, Etc. are all firmly in control and there is total augmentation with reality. Constant recording, constant filming, constant photography. Reality is a canvas to be chopped-and-screwed and inserted into the Internet. Social capital is massive in a public sense via social media. A lot of the cultural/occult memesmiths escape with their language and syntax into places like Discord. Online culture is culture. 

    A lot of people still mistakenly visualize the Internet as a place that you go to— a terminal in which once seated, you perform the correct rituals at the temple to then enter the cyberplane. This is dated. The Earth is a captured object within a hyperobject— the Internet. Tens of thousands of satellites encase the planet physically, with a virtual web blanketing the entire thing. It is around you and with you at all times, and more and more devices are constantly interfacing with it. 

    But for those of us who went to it and stayed inside of it for shelter, we watched this transformation take place. Above I listed out an overly-schematic list of consumer epochs, but let’s oversimplify even further and put a very basic (Western) cultural schema to this. Again, using my generation as the central point. 

    If you were born in the mid 80s to mid 90s to a family not well off, you quickly began to realize that there was absolutely no place for you in the coming hellworld that you likely intuited approaching growing up. I think people confuse the notion that you don’t know much about life until your 20s and 30s in terms of life experience with some type of non-sentience— like you’re just an automaton gliding through without retaining anything. It’s a common sentiment, especially with the growing dissatisfaction with cultural output, political stances, uses of time and entertainment— all leading to the common “people are dumb” cope posted online. It’s not entirely false, but let’s not pretend that when you’re a kid that you can’t start to piece things together (South Park as a show tried to demonstrate that perhaps not knowing the nuance, you can still observe and process the event). 

    I’ll use myself being born in 1990. My first historical event was the End of History.

    By the time I was a teenager, I was inundated with a mass-trauma event that was leveraged as the catalyst for initializing an extra-territorial security apparatus that was superimposed over my nation alongside economic collapse, my graduating class of 2008 (I didn’t graduate) turned 18 and the world economy collapsed— again. While going through school, the tone changed from the adult world in that things were going to get harder and more competitive, and that this was sudden. You used to be told that if you graduated and worked hard, you would make it. Now suddenly you’re convinced that taking out $40,000 in student loans (if not double) is required via hysterical campaigns that just so happened to coincide with the state making it so that these loans cannot be discharged. You couldn’t get a job, you couldn’t get a house, you might not even be able to get a car. You have nothing but debt and fear, and you enter the adult world with the discourse revolving around total ecological disaster, WW3, and civil war. This is on top of an increasing schizification from being exposed to mixed media and our relation with them and the perception of time, which unfortunately again is another entry—techno-chronomancy is quite real though. 

    So if you’re like me, growing up you escaped into the virtual and watched this cultural dynamic unfold. Not only that, but you discussed it with rage and captured it within symbolic digital icons, developing a syntax that only your fellow excommunicated really understood. It’s quite natural that a lot of these early shitposters were (are) misanthropic, jaded, and had a slant for chaos. The outside world was enemy territory. When you were going outside you were entering 3D Gay World and couldn’t wait for your reprieve from it. Fortunately now you’re always there with your handheld portal, but we’re getting there. 

    There was something of a proto-meme culture around the mid 2000s that’s extremely hard to qualify, and there was a certain type who were like a Patient Zero for the virtual invasion of the Real. Websites like Something Awful were around, 4chan was active and still slightly clandestine, YTMND effectively pioneered the initial meme format in terms of serving it in a streamlined manner, and there was a certain type of person that tried to bring it into the Real. 

    Enter your Invader Zim “teh spork of doom!! rawr xD” freak teenager, if not already adult. This was a short-lived uncanny creature that’s survived in image, but actually seeing it and remembering it was wild for two reasons. For one, it was like the Internet had broken its containment cage and was running rampant. These people were typically spastic, essentially spamming IRL with 1.0 memes “I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER” type stuff. It was a new level of cringe. The second aspect of this that made it weird was that if you were a virtual refugee, you knew EXPLICITLY what they were talking about. You were likely even trying to contain your own poison. While that got somewhat rejected from standard culture, it flourished in other pockets in the same way you could consider an “alt-lifestyle” scene to, such as conventions or other gatherings. You had to seek it out though, it was largely successfully identified as being “gay” in the mid 2000s. 

    The Facebook era and smartphones demarcate a key moment that we’re just going to chalk up to roughly 2010. There was a permeating ennui that really started to sit in. The “recession” really made life hard for my generation. The intuition and the idea of not having a future had fully solidified manifestly into near fact. Not only that, but something that was crippling (for me personally, and many others I’ve seen) was that the Real wasn’t acknowledging its devastation that was being wrought upon us. Hope and change carried the day with little acknowledgement of the scale of cultural havoc taking place.

    It festered in dark corners.

    It’s indescribable how much rage was building up. The mainstream YouTube conspiracy wave along with Alex Jones-type vibes and “truth seeking” were well permeated throughout the internet along with growing public distrust of the system. People were pissed and regarded two-party politics (US-centric, apply this as you will) to be a performative game while the military-industrial complex, business-industrial complex, and the extra-territorial security state ran the show–colloquially the Deep State. While there was always a conspiratorial angle to the online use, it really permeated into working-class people skeptical of both the system and their future prospects within it. Mass shootings and school shootings were going through the roof, but this leads us to the crux of this entire entry: that the virtual was invading- consuming, the real.

    It would be instructive to read a prior piece written on this website, which highlights when my reality crumbled. This era demarcates where we stand currently, high-quality smartphone proliferation and truly operational social media. We no longer have to deliberately enter the virtual via set terminals and subsequently deal with its afflictions that are cast onto the netizens who exit it, it’s right here. You were robbed of moments that were formerly yours, they’re the Internet’s, with you as an unwilling shareholder into  This is the virtual invading the real in complete, and this is where certain castes of the dark-cornered shitposters not only realize this and facilitate it, but even start to personally use an occult and religious register to describe their actions and intent, largely “meme magic.”

    I went to a beach and saw several groups of people spread out, each was trying to take a picture of some girl in the water with a smartphone and make it look as if it’s some candid, organic picture. Spaced away was another group trying to do something similar, and away from them a girl was in a sand dune doing some kind of posting-but-not-posing candid acting while some guy tried to snap a picture.

And some guy was recording them all doing this.

And I was watching that guy record all of them. 

Was somebody watching me?

    With the proliferation of the smartphone, not only did Reality get captured and edited/virtualized, but key tenants of the online underground were bleeding out. How rapidly did we move from someone saying “what’s a may-may?”, to your mother/grandmother knowing explicitly what a meme is? How fast that did that happen? Honestly, it seemed to me to be between 2008-2013, but when further timelines get disseminated perhaps this will be more exact. You watched “terrorism” first person- watched the other guys, and winning. You watched hyperreal violence. You watched every mundane act. You watched your friends around you cultivating their online brand, but seeing its production in the Real, giving a permeating irreality to even your “real” events. This was a rapid transformation- a violent reconfiguration of features that we’re just starting to parse and deal with now. We’re failing, however. Personally, I find the most important of these to be, and will continue to be, Syntax.

Syntax: perhaps the lexicon, perhaps the Necronomicon? 

    The memetic syntax that has entered the universal register of speech has been so rapid and seamless that it should be disturbing. Typographic vernacular is just being outright spoken, memes are recited, people are constantly scrolling through twitter/insta/whatever constantly, taking from it and adding to it. Positing the Real and extracting the Unreal- a feedback loop that effectively has removed any separation. Online is offline, Real is Unreal. Virtual is Real. Is this complete to full standards? Perhaps not, but it’s continuing. 

    And so for those of us that watched this process unfold, we felt as if we had a lived esoteric experience that was not only valuable, but functional. One could be so adept with the syntax and methodology of the digital occult that you were practically a seer. You saw the signs and the bubbling online, and you saw how the temple parsed and molded it. 

2013/2014 was an intensely depressing time for a lot of these people and is still regarded as such. The economy wasn’t coming back, people were in debt and all their deepest fears were right in not really having a future- not having a place. It was unbearable to watch the Real absorbing YOUR culture, and yet you still not only didn’t have a place in it, but you had to hide even more from it. You became a refugee from the Virtual and the Real as they swirled into each other in a positive-feedback loop that’s currently creating the runaway effect that we’re seeing today. You knew you were watching something cataclysmic building. Politically the corruption was so obviated on top of the outright banking cartels scamming, drug waves with opiates, people were sliding down socioeconomically, and you had to just keep your mouth shut despite monitoring in detail in whatever escape vector you were hiding in. 

And then 2015 happened, and Shadilay, Kek, the OK sign, and the War Machine activated. 

2015 and past is going to be dedicated for subsequent entries because this is where the meme-magic occult workings became totally explicit. This so far has served as a prior context and a simplified schematic cultural basis for us to work with. In future entries (which are going to be dedicated to more granulated and specific topics) all of these aspects will be more thoroughly cited and explored. This is merely an over-simplified primer and trying to put you in the right space. 

    It’s going to take years to fully journey through these topics, but I do intend to do it. This is the first time since I was a kid in which I’ve truly felt like I have a life work. Please, give it time and accept this pathetic introduction to some associative thoughts into the environment- a schema in which you can make associations of the following subjects: the Real, the Virtual, the Shitposter, and the Shitposter observing the Real and the Virtual integrating (Integral Reality). You have to try to remember this almost-frictionless time as significant. There was a “before time”, and there was a transition, and there are people that are highly skilled with working with the forms that emerged from these processes, some of which being quite dark. Do not let amnesia reign over you.

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