Post-modernism let’s us laugh at the sinister takeover of the planet. The infinite regress keeps your doubts certain and your ideas unsure. If you have a good idea, it might be a post-post-modern one and not a pre-post-modern one. Who knows. Test the waters.
Has anyone heard of the concept of hex death? For a member of one of the more “primitive” communities, having a reputation of being someone possessed of supernatural power opens a window. The person need not publicly pronounce ill intention toward anyone in the community. Just the contact they have with various members of their community and the subtle elements of their reaction, body language and tone of voice, can seed into that communities consciousness that one of them is “marked for death” by the witchdoctor.
Oh, like voodoo? Not like orthodox voodoo. The religion of voodoo is relatively benign though it also uses practices similar to these. They undergo a process of training and spiritual conditioning that leads them to function in ways more suitable to the loa and to the people the voodoo priest or priestess serves. But, in any culture that has an active magical practice, there are always some with talent who either lack discipline or deliberately reject the values that normally surround that cultures practice of magick. They go by a lot of names, none of which are particular suitable.
So, in the case of hex death, the ill will of the will worker pervades the imagination of the people of the village to such a degree that the subconscious social signals build up around the intended target, and the person begins to self-destruct usually rather quickly.
This dynamic often gives rise to a sort of rivalry among will workers. One worker hexes a victim, and another (who actually gives rise to the title “witch doctor”) promises to cure the afflicted person. They do this by hexing the original person who hexed the victim.
This sounds like something celebrities and politicians go through. Modern celebrities are just the living replacements for what the shamans (and what not) used on us, totems and other “fetishes”, but the power is still in the hands of the story tellers, not those who fill the puppet role, and the stories are all bought and paid for.
So, control imagination and you control reality. Creating a zombie is perhaps one of the most obvious examples in our imagination of utter domination.
Story tellers = marketers. They actually get permission from marketers. Story tellers are more like the idol makers that were so reviled by some cultures in ancient times. They still help to build empires no matter how little respect they get. You could even say they are vital.
The original method for creating a zombie involved the concoction of a virulent poison. One that, coupled with the trauma inflicted after, creates a very selective form of brain death. Zombie powder has the ability to temporarily lobotomize you. They even use, or used to use, a synthetic version of it as an anesthetic in hospitals. Given in too strong a dose it simply kills. Too weak a dose and it just induces poor motor control and hallucinations. But done just right it puts the victim into a prolonged form of suspended animation making most people in those cultures just think you are dead.
The prospective zombie master has to quickly visit the graveyard on the night of the burial as they bore a hole into the ground and coffin beneath to allow the victim air and to allow speech with the victim while they are paralyzed. The zombie master then proceeds to, through both their words and selected dramatic behaviour, produce a psychodrama that for all intents and purposes grants them ownership of the victims soul. Then they dig them up and escort them to a remote plantation where no one will go looking or question the activities going on there, and they then “live” out the remainder of their lives there. Like someone who has undergone medical lobotomy, they are still possessed of their skills and some ability to reason, but have next to nothing in the way of free will. Selective and irreversible brain death. Are these zombies really alive?
Do they have any awareness of their state? Little, and almost no ability to relate what they experience to any memory, like a constant nightmare. They obey orders because their handler can induce some normal focus and perception for periods of time. I don’t recommend it for anyone.
Now there is another technique associated with the dead, but nothing physical. Ever hear of the phantom limb phenomenon?
Your own psyche is not the exclusive territory of your personality. It forms extensions that take on the character and behaviour of those you have been intimately linked with emotionally. You have shells of other people’s personalities in your own mind and these cannot be removed. They are not full blown personalities as we form only imperfect impressions of these we live with, even those we live with in the closest ways possible.
So if someone wants to sway you, they have yet another way of influencing you that has nothing really to do with talking to you. By providing the right phrases and right visual triggers, they can stir that phantom personality into action, and its own influence on you will assist them with other efforts they make to bend your will. This is why displaying and making mention of dead celebrities is such a popular practice. They don’t even have to have been popular celebrities, well known works well enough.
So even without there being literal factual ghosts involved, the phantoms have a practical reality anyway. Hell, if the phantom in question is “demonized” that just serves to make it more powerful. It becomes yet another vector for inducing the “real life” tension and paranoia we have all come to accept.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.