Success: damn Gourdough’s bastard

I live nextdoor to this damn place and still haven’t been.
I live nextdoor to this damn place and still haven’t been.

There is no more bitter feeling than envy of true success. True success is goal achievement. Metaphysically, it is the creation of some desired state of affairs from nothing—under the power of one’s “own” intention and “own” action.

Like this damn Gourdough’s bastard (whoever he is). He’s a true success story. He started from nothing—except for an idea, a dream, and a solid experience: pleasure.

Dude gained some serious pleasure by eating some crap he cooked one day. He gave it to others to taste. They also liked it. Then he thought,

Hey. People will buy this crap.

So he invests in a trailer. Borrows money to do it. Next he buys some advertisements. How? I have no idea (my ignorance of marketing is a major source of self-hate).

People come. They eat … and enjoy. They enjoy enough to tell their friends about it. Fuck! That’s the worst, isn’t it? Value is certified when it gets authentic feedback like that. The feedback of real, gut-level appreciation. Which is really telling.

Pun intended. When we appreciate something, we are compelled to tell the person who made it, gave it, or otherwise introduced it to us. In fact, we should really be paying each other in the currency of telling. If food were free we would. Someone builds you a car. It makes a difference in your life. So you call the guy up, weeping:

Dude, I love that machine!

Your at the park and a woman hands you a just-baked apple pie. You eat some and then return to her table, gushing:

Oh lady. I really love your pie!

But look what we do instead. Sending pure love-value in the form of heartfelt telling isn’t good enough. So we devise a substance that is truly magical. Our appreciation is so strong that we refuse to pay with love. We pay with a substance that is truly, truly magical. So we tell with paper. We tell via agreed-upon finite and perduring substance. The emotion is fleeting, but the electric circuits that send a “5” onto the payment screen at HEB are lasting—perpetual objects of public awareness. All possible humans can check your bank account, or wallet. That value is real—the same for all—and lasting, because it is hooked into matter.

So we have a choice. We can tell our appreciation verbally, or we can tell it materially. Giving money is nothing but fortified telling.

Someone with money is exactly a wizard. There is no observable distinction between magick and money. Money can make desired things appear in exactly that mind-blowing sense that is the hallmark of high magick. Money is no different from high magick, actually.

For example. Take two people, A and B, who are clones … except that A has money and B does not. Both want a car to drive them to a club and to eat a hamburger on the way. A (using cellphone and online bank account) waves his hand and … a car comes, with a burger inside, and drives him to the place in his imagination. B, lacking money, waves his hand and no car ever comes. The difference is magickal potency or magickal efficacy.

Yet the substance that distinguishes them is really just solidified telling of appreciation. The real value is in the appreciation. Why is the I love your pie so much oh god oh god less appreciation than throwing a $10.00 bill at her? They say the same thing. The substance? Nope—she bill is useless, unless she needs some scratch paper or needs to start a fire and has no tinder on hand. The difference is only (1) that the money is locked down at a specific quantity, and (2) that we are all in agreement about that quantity. Printing “Y’all said my love for that pie is worth five 2 liter Coke units” on a piece of paper locks the value down into perduring form. You can store the $5 but not the exact quantity of pleasure the lady felt when hearing the thank-you.

Another example. I want to consume a crepe. I have no crepe. But I have magickal substance. It’s a substance, which makes it local. Oh—this is another important feature. Money is zero-sum. I have $5. When I tell the money to the pie lady, I put it into my hands and give it away. Something changes real spatial location. That change of position is the scarcity component of money—another attribute we’ve artificially added. The original love and appreciation was not a thing localizable in space. The value is higher when her gain is also my loss. And isn’t that precisely the feeling we try to produce in ourselves when we deeply thank, when we “give” someone our sincerest thanks? We want to feel pain and show that we feel pain, that we need to lose something to repay the great pleasure we’ve suddenly received.

Giving money tells our love across at a loss to self. Our greatest love is power, so what we intend to tell across is power itself as an essence. Power is a necessary mark of value, an essence, not an accident.

Perhaps there are two levels:

  1. The emotional. The biological purpose of telling appreciation is to make the giver feel the same pleasure as you received when you were given to.
  2. The biological-economical. The gift of instant pleasure from admiration is the highest in quality. But the greatest gift for the organism is power, which is the generic power (!) to satisfy all ends.

The metaphysical substance of the telling version is appreciation and admiration. It is a real transactional gradient. A real physical transfer happens—dopamine is released. Chemical changes are the most real of real, because presence is actually material motion of body tissue—especially the fast-signaling parts of the homeostatic system.

But we are embodied. So we insist on not only giving the metaphysical out-pouring of deep appreciation (my soul oozing its own substance out to your for your consumption) but also a physical zero-sum value that can is real magickal power.

People come and give generic magickal power for those damn doughnuts. Cheap cooked things sell for a lot more than their grocery bill, and yet people are happy to lose that juice because their love is so great.

And I burn with envy at such being of value to others.