My metaphysics is a dualistic variant of the metaphysics of Hobbes, but it's different from other dualist meatphysics in that, instead of dividing metaphysical existents into the realms of matter and spirit, I divide them into the realms of matter and mathematics or pattern (Plato was a wanker).
A rock exists. Part of its existence comes from the matter making it up, and part from the patterns between chunks of matter. The matter really exists on a metaphysical level, but the patterns themselves do too.
Now, certain interesting consequences follow from this metaphiscal basis. I believe in the soul, as a mathematical entity -- it's made of patterns between patterns between patterns in the matter of your body. Now, if it's a mathematical entity, it can be represented mathimatically, and operations can be performed on it. That is, given a sufficiently powerful computer (none are around yet), a machine could have a soul that's every bit as real as a human's.
Also, Jungian archetypes and the collective unconscious are totally feasable, explained as certain patterns or attributes of patterns held in common within most human souls. Saying that they're attributes of the "shape" of a soul is close to what I mean, if you follow my meaning. Some of this "shape" may come from biology (archetypes like certain mother and father figures, as well as hunters and other primal roles may come from this), and some from the shared experiences of a certain society.
My epistemology is similar to David Hume's. There's two different realms within which knowledge can be had -- the tautological realm of logic and mathematics, and the realm of experience or "real life".
In the realm of logic, we can "know" things to be really true, in an absolute sense. But, the moment you bring senses and non-logic into the picture, the ability to know anything about the subject matter disappears. You just can't know anything about anything in the real world, no matter how hard you try
that fact is totally irrelevent. So what? Anyone who thinks they need to know things in order to live is just being silly. We can make really good educated guesses about most things most of the time, and that's all that's really required, and I'm satisfied with it.
My ethics is a blend of Rand and Crowley, who in fact based their ethical systems on the same fundamental principle. Oh, and I guess you could say there's a little Nietzchie sprinkled on top of it.
Rand called it "the virtue of selfishness". Crowley said "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" (and none of this "an thou harm none" crap that a Wiccan might glue on to it -- Crowley never said that, it utterly destroys the meaning, and pisses me off to boot).
The basic idea is this: Find out what you are, and be that. Attempt to find out what your own true nature is, and be absolutely true to it, and everything else will follow. Agonizing over whether or not you're a "bad person" is stupid and counterproductive.
My beliefs and practices concerning mysticism are loosely based on Hermetic traditions. I'm a big-time fan of Alistair Crowley, although I treat him with less reverence (though not neccesarily less respect) than most of the weenies who "follow" him. Basically, I've read his stuff as philosophical works, and agreed with much of it.
Recently I've studied a bit of Hindu mysticism, and a little bit of Sufi thought as well. I'm particularly taken with the Upanisads.
My main area of expertiese is Tarot. I despise the Rider-Waite deck ("Reader's Digest condensed tarot"), and I don't use the Celtic Cross layout myself. Nope, it's the Book of Thoth for me, and I use a layout that looks like this:
My readings are more about psychological analysis and provoking thought, and less about prediction. I rely heavily on elemental symbolism (air, earth, fire, water).
Lately, I've gotten into astrology a bit. I'm Sun in Pices, Moon
in Scorpio, Taurus Rising. My sun sign is actually in debate. If you
believe in cusps, I'm one -- my sun is within about 30" (1/120 of a
degree) of the changeover from Aquarius to Pices. Here's a copy of my
If you'd like to cast it yourself, I was born February 19th, 1968, at 9:22am in Burlington, VT (44°28'33"N, 73°12'45"W). At some point, I hope to set up a WWW form that lets you enter your birth data, and feeds it into the astrology program I use (Astrolog 4.10) and spits your chart back at you in GIF or text format.
For a while I was peripherally involved with the O.T.O., and I was invited to join the Rosicrucians. I've put a small amount of effort into investigating the Unitarian Universalists -- they seem to have their heads on straight.