first thought – your thought

I have ripped the title of this post off from an old saying of the beat poet Allen Ginsberg: first thought, best thought.

In Allen’s case it referred to a principle of poetics, that you could trust original creativity, and that to over work, self censor and re-craft your work could detract from the direct process and its purity. It was not an absolute rule of course, but it was a kind of maxim, a reminder, a freeing talisman, a bit like William Carlos Williams’ “no ideas/but in things”. And it was also a distillation of a method.

In my case, this isn’t about poetry, but about how you approach things like magick, the sacred, the gods, the mystical. And I could re-phrase it as “don’t ever lose your personal perspective, your independent vision and relationships, your own intuitive perception and idea”. Because you are right. You honestly will come to know the feel of “right”, in all its subjective substance.

I say this because in 40 odd years of reading, listening, watching, and especially of observing and meeting people in groups concerned with things like the esoteric, the occult and Paganism (and I have mainly been socially very peripheral in that time) I have come to see how easy it is to lose original perception under peer pressure, or simply under the domination of a certain atmosphere within a social milieu, or under intellectual fashion, or the common place swagger of local consensus. And then you have to find it all over again, and find you were right all along, before you gave it, or put it away.

So please do yourself a favour. Enjoy the carnival, but come back home to you.

That’s where the real carnival is.

Carnaval de Lazarim by Rosino ([1]) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons



    • I quite agree. It’s also like forgetting that you packed camping gear and supplies 😉 People don’t like to feel too individual, and they don’t like to feel vulnerable, not in the rules of the playground. But I feel we have to be able to fully embrace both, in order to live as individuals, and to transform our vulnerabilities into talents

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