The corporation as magickal entity
The corporation as magickal entity
This article explores the identity of the corporate body and how it can often become an independent entity, outside the control of any singular individual. In magickal terms the corporation can, by virtue of its presence in memespace and its influence over the collective human psyche, become the magickal construct known as an egregore. Much of this can apply to all corporate or cooperative bodies, but the lifestyle providers that dance on our TV’s, follow us down the streets and in our cars, and who gently invade our homes and minds, are the most powerful and compelling.
The modern corporation is far more than simply a building full of people that creates a product or manages resources. It exists in physical space, data space, and in aetheric space. It is a collective of intentional will committed to self-preservation, growth, and profit. It wields language and media to establish its presence and identity in the age of global trade. The corporation is unified in its focus, executes on its desires, and manipulates resources in accordance with its intent. It is in many ways an individual composed of many cooperative cells. Like the human body, the corporation maintains its identity and function in spite of the continuous recycling of its cells. The structure persists by its own will and inertia. The corporation is not bound to any one location. It can move, disperse, and distribute through data networks. It behaves with a single will, informed by the will of the corporate collective, bent towards the same end: maintaining the existence & continued growth of the corporate entity.
The genesis of the corporation was as a representation of the shared interests of a group. Soon it evolved to have the legal status roughly equivalent to a person. It has become an independent entity with the same rights as an individual (or more). Its person-hood reinforces its self-identity and the identity it projects to the world. It wants to appear human and be regarded as such. This is the only way to find intimacy with the consumer; the only way the corporation can generate trust and acceptance. This identity begins with the corporate vision but soon moves into the minds of the consumer culture where it can tap into a deeper level of emotional associations. It is at this point that it has evolved from a business entity into a psychic one.
The corporation is recognized by its products – the output of its collective will manifesting in the material plane – and by its image – the constructs it builds up around itself, intentionally & unintentionally, through advertising, marketing, its actions and its transgressions. As the corporate image becomes more and more focused and defined, it is easier to package and deliver to the minds of consumers. While the internal corporate identity may wear one mask, the public persona usually wears another. It is this basic deception which gives power to the emergent egregore and allows it such access to our dreams & desires.
The coporate logo is a sigil used to represent it to the world. The logo is a way to encapsulate a highly complex system in a single, easy to digest image that can be fed to the masses. The better the corporate sigil, the more that people identify with its logo, and the less they look beyond its representation of the corporate ideal. The sigil is a spell cast upon the world to ensnare us in its allure and avert our eyes from its indiscretions. The corporate image employs a vast army of trained psychoengineers hired explicitly to exploit the psychological and perceptual weaknesses of the consumer culture. They distill its carefully crafted identity into emotional aggregates, surgical abstractions designed to re-associate the faceless corporate entity with ideas and images and slogans that appeal to the human animal on a subconscious level.
The corporate logo is then a further abstraction of the crafted image, containing within it the cultural weight of its associations, wrapped in a simple image easily absorbed and remembered. The corporate entity clothes itself in meaning and uses symbolism to represent that meaning. Now the Nike “swoosh” represents far more than just a company that sells shoes. It is athleticism, adventure, competition, endurance, work & struggle. Michael Jordan. Nike Town. Sweatshops and personalization agitprop. When Jonah Peretti (espn.go.com/page2/s/farrey/010227.html) made international news for trying to personalize a Nike shoe order with the word “sweatshop”, the Nike meme expanded to include this as well. (this was an excellent example of a simple magickal assault on a corporate egregore.) And remember when they used the Beatles song “Say you want a revolution” in a TV commercial? This is the egregore clothing itself in pop culture in order to gain greater access to the collective consciousness.
An egregore is a magickal entity that functions with its own will. It is unique from a deity or godform in that it is explicitly a human creation, rather than an inherent archetype or psychic representation. It is given life by the intent of its creator and is initially designed to fulfill a certain goal. This is typically the role of a servitor as a servant to its master. But if the servitor gains enough power it can become an egregore, independent from the will of its creator. It takes on a life of its own. When the Nike execs go home for the evening, the egregore lives on in media, in the minds of consumers, and in its product set behind glass windows, walking the streets, sitting in our homes. Indeed, if successful it will persist through generations, drawing devoted servants into its halls – servants who will work hard to extend its presence in the noosphere.
Satire and cultural appropriation are indicators that a meme has grown beyond the scale of its original intent. As it passes through more and more heads its identity expands further into the global mind. As the egregore yields more of its identity to the mass culture, it grows beyond the control of its servants. They must simply respond and adapt to the consumer climate. There is a subtle feedback loop here. The egregore influences culture, which in turn sets greater demands on the egregore and its product.
Brand association with genres, lifestyles, and cultural identity bring meaning and depth to the inherent soullesness of the corporate egregore. It’s power grows as it occupies more bandwidth in memespace, and as it clothes itself in emotional aggregates, feeding on dreams & desire. As pop culture evolves, so too will the masks of the egregore, enlisting celebrities and popular trends to peddle its product. Even after the inevitable demise of its material foundation, the egregore lives on as a relic of antiquity – a memory of pop culture.
With this profile of the corporate egregore – the magickal lifestyle branders – it should be possible to identify points of entry for magickal attacks. If the egregore occupies aetheric space, then it is open to aetheric assault. It must be remembered that it has entered our space and we ultimately make the rules.
One method is reprogramming brand associations. Engage the corporate sigil directly, then methodically re-brand it internally. Make associations with the opposite of its advertising intentions. Re-brand your conception of Nike with weakness, exploitation, plastics, petroleum byproducts, and failure. By changing your own internal aetheric representation of the corporate brand you weaken its hold on the collective psyche.
The sigil can be further re-engineered by altering it to have a satirical or contradictory message. It can then be re-associated in trance & ritual, or printed on t-shirts & bumper stickers. Then send them to the employees. Use agitprop to re-image the corporate meme in a way that is counter-productive to its goals. Reveal it’s hidden secret in public satire.
As the corporate egregore expands into memespace and becomes more and more integrated into pop culture, it leaves more and more traces of itself. Logos, ads, product placement, branded wrappers, product carried by consumers, news items, parodies & satire – all of these can be regarded as it’s children, like tentacles spreading through the aether. As such, they are potential points of entry… tunnels back to the source. This technique is, of course, dangerous. Putting yourself in a highly suggestive state and then merging into a corporate logo is not recommended. Who’s existence is more widely believed? Yours, or DuPont’s? But for the bold, there is a potential path here.
Magickal assaults can use these techniques to invoke the egregore, but what do you do once you’re there? The fundamental assumption within the corporation is that stuff is important. That goods & services are necessary to human survival and happiness. Conversely, the most terrifying reality of the corporation is that it is impermanent. It’s always struggling against market factors, shareholders, and fickle customers; employee negligence & stupidity; corporate watchdogs and bold journalists. Strike with the inner peace of impermanence. Strike with the relentless change of time, who brings down all attempts at order. Strike with hawk-headed gods and egyptian queens. Strike with the legends and myths of humanity, rich with depth and meaning and integrity. Amidst the backdrop of history, the corporation is a fleeting moment. Show it this truth. Plant seeds of aetheric chaos.
The Big Boys
Most of this paper has been oriented towards lifestyle providers and high-profile manufacturers. But what of the dark forces, the archons of war and exploitation? Are magickal assaults on such entities viable? Safe? Bechtel, Halliburton, the Carlysle Group – these are the real powers stalking the planet. These shadowy egregores prefer to keep as low of a profile as possible. You’ll not find any corporate sigils lying around like keys to the vault. An effective angle uses good ‘ol guerilla journalism. Get the word out. When the profiteering and lies become public knowledge, the dark egregore is exposed and weakens. It can no longer function unfettered. How many people knew what Halliburton was 5 years ago? Now the egregore is under assault. Draw them out of the shadows, then attack with the light.
The best magick is practice. Your money is your voice. Try not to buy corporate products. Buy local and independent. If you’re buying designer clothes, don’t wear labels. Cut them off or blot them out. There’s no way to stop supporting corporations completely. the luxury of the first-world is supported by the cheap labor of the third. But support good businesses, and don’t give your money to the bad ones. Educate people about the worst corporations, and strike the egregores in their inevitable moments of weakness.
Finally, never under-estimate the Tibetan Buddhist rituals of compassion. If you gain access to the mainframe of the egregore, feed it your inherent love for the beauty of nature, the mother creator, the genetic link binding us to life and love and light. The ideals and dreams of the human animal are the most powerful weapons we have in our vast arsenal of evolutionary technology. Sigilize your deepest adoration of the earthly kingdom and give it as an offering to the heart of the corporate egregore.