Cyber-Punk Sorcerers and the Ring of Power
Do not go making deals with the devil
“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne"
In the seemingly banal of our day to day life in the modern age, it may seem that very little goes on that lives up to the stuff of legend. Sure, we have crime and wars and even some acts of true heroism or evil here and there, but for the most part, we don’t tend to think that anything that goes on today lives up to mythic fantasies.
In our day we don’t have sorcerers, dark magicians, vampiric elites, or crafty wizards seeking power and eternal life.
But are you so sure?
I am unconvinced that our world today is altogether different from ages past. Further, I am unconvinced that there is much difference between the dark pursuits of our own elites and those of the old world. The purists of those desperate to bend the natural order to their own will.
Is our world of technology and materialism really so very different from the old worlds of sorcerer kings and magic?
I think not.
I can’t think of a better current example than Bryan Johnson, tech CEO and founder of “Project Blueprint”.
The aim of Project Blueprint is to stop or reverse aging, and ultimately to stop natural death. Bryan Johnson is pushing the limits of modern science to achieve everlasting life. This is where the line between science and sorcery becomes grey, and it become clearer to see that in essence there is little difference. Bryan has drawn huge media attention to his methods, which include experiments as innocent as extreme diets and fasting and biohacking in an attempt to “de-age” his organs. His methods also include some as disturbing as attempts of vampiric blood magick with his young son.
If reading the linked article disturbs you, well, it should. Don’t let the modern medical jargon and squeaky clean approach fool you. What Johnson is doing is an attempt at magic, at the same stuff attempted by any number of sorcerer kings from any number of past ages. I would ask you- how is what Johnson is doing so different?
It may seem Cyber-punk, but keep in mind how little difference there has ever been between science fiction and fantasy- they are made of the same stuff. One could say the only difference is one tells of our past, the other of our future. The tales themselves remain the same. “Magic”, “Science”, what does it matter?
I find it so odd that people treat Bryan Johnson and his endeavor, whether they approve of it or not, like it is some shocking thing.
Men have been trying to do this since the dawn of time.
Gilgamesh long sought the secret to immortality in the ancient near-east. Spanish captains sailed the seas searching for the fountain of youth. Medieval knights sought the Holy Grail. There are tales of witches in the wood brewing potions to steal youth and beauty.
No, this is not new. Men have always sought means to overcome nature and God, ways to wrest back the power and immortality that we lost in the garden for themselves. This is a tale as old as time, in fact it is THE tale. Created beings seeking to take power and life by force, in defiance of God.
In this sense, CEO Bryan Johnson is little different than Lucifer himself, and to be frank, I doubt he’d be much offended at me saying so.
Here’s a quote from Johnson:
“Jesus fed bread and wine, accelerating ageing and inebriating… I will feed you with nutrients that nourish and create life… this 2000-year-old character is not up to date with anti-ageing science.”
The astounding hubris and blasphemy aside, this is more comical than anything because we all know Bryan isn’t going to succeed.
Anyone with some common sense watching will know that Bryan’s pursuit will not lead him to eternal life, it will lead him only to disaster. Anyone who has read their history, who has read their mythology, knows how this plays out.
In watching Johnson use technology, or what is really modern “magic” to attempt to achieve eternal life, I’m reminded of Tolkien’s Rings of Power, the devices of Sauron that promised unlimited power and life to its bearers, but of course, led only to destruction and death.
This was a common theme from Tolkien, for whom “magic” and “technology” had very little practical difference, rather it was all about how they were used and pursued. And for Tolkien, sorcery was defined as using some means, whether magical or not, to bend the natural order to ones own desire for the sake of power.
When I see Bryan Johnson, I see the kings of Númenor accepting their rings from Sauron in their greed for power and long life, before succumbing to the darkness and becoming his Ringwraiths. I see Saruman’s synergy of technology and magic, and his coveting of the One Ring that he believed could give him control of Middle-Earth. I see Sauron himself, his power bound to his own device, weakened by his pursuit of ultimate power.
Tolkien did not invent this idea though- these “deals with the devil” have been a common motif forever. Men have always known that you can turn from God and make a pact with the darkness for something that you desire. You can accept a Ring of Power from Sauron, if you choose. We have also always known that this never ends well.
This is what all the godless elites do, even the ones whose pursuits are not so quite on-the-nose as Bryan Johnson’s. They chase after their own Ring of Power. Some lust for power, some for money, some for skill, some for sex. Others seem less dark, like Elon Musk’s quest to reach the stars, but even this is a sort of Ring, a promise of life elsewhere, of a man-made messiah.
And all the men that do this fall to the same trap. In taking their ring of power, they become slave to Sauron’s master ring- more literally, they become a slave to power itself. They become consumed with the fear of death, and they become like the Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead.
This is why we need faerie stories- if more knew their faerie tales better, maybe more would recognize quests for eternal life and unlimited power for the vain and fruitless quests that they are. Maybe more would recognize the dangers of power when they saw them. We need faerie stories to remind us that we still live in a world of magic and sorcery, and that deals with the devil are still very real, and very dangerous. Maybe if more grew up reading their faerie tales, they would know not the accept the dark lords rings as gifts (seriously, who is educating the kids these days).
What will happen to Bryan Johnson? I don’t know. Maybe he will fail spectacularly and die young and be lost to the laughing stock of history. Maybe he will beat the odds and succeed, and become some kind of eldritch vampiric horror (or Ringwraith) that hasn’t walked the Earth in millennia. But it doesn’t matter which of these fates he comes to.
Because the only way out for Bryan Johnson, the only way for him to find true life, is to turn away from this dark path he has chosen- to cast away the Ring of Power.
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