Order, the organizing idea and self-mastery

This is one of quite a few posts I intended to write much earlier, but got sidetracked by my coursework. If my post from the beginning of September is any indiciation, I did say this was going to happen. Still, I’ve managed to put this together, and there’s something I have planned for Wednesday as well – I think you know why if you’ve followed me for long enough. Anyway, here’s the post.

Recently I watched a 3-part video series on the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and gained a few insights that seemed particularly useful and relevant to me. Since then I gained an interest in the book itself, and for this post I want to go through two specific laws that hit right home when I was first paying attention, alongside some other ideas that I became aware of with time.

One such law is the law of planning all the way to the end.

Law 29
Plan All the Way to the End
The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible
consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the
glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you
will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far

The point of this law is straightforward: think of the outcome you want to achieve, and pay attention every possible outcome looming in the horizon so that you can outmaneuver them. Honestly, I feel like this is part of the point of me constantly being taught about planning ahead in game design at university: there is no game project without a plan underlying it. Otherwise, the project becomes consumed by a multiplicity of setbacks, some late ideas that people try to add on and a lot of stress due to the fact that you’d inevitably be forced to improvise all the way to the last minute, resulting in a shitty game that no one would want to play.

Greene gives a very good reason for this law in the book:

Most men are ruled by the heart, not the head. Their plans are vague, and when they meet obstacles they improvise. But improvisation will only bring you as far as the next crisis, and is never a substitute for thinking several steps ahead and planning to the end.

And I think that’s generally true: people are mostly ruled by emotions. In a way, nearly all of us are to some extent. It’s why lots of people get drawn into mass outrage over small things, because it pokes at specific emotions. It’s also a major reason why humans have a proclivity towards the consumption of false hopes, because the fantasy provides solace.

What struck me is the analogy to the Greek gods found in the book, which goes as follows:

According to the cosmology of the ancient Greeks, the gods were thought to have complete vision into the future. They saw everything to come, right down to the intricate details. Men, on the other hand, were seen as victims of fate, trapped in the moment and their emotions, unable to see beyond imminent dangers. Those heroes, such as Odysseus, who were able to look beyond the present and plan several steps ahead, seemed to defy fate, to approximate the gods in their ability to determine the future. The comparison is still valid – those among us who think further ahead and patiently bring their plans to fruition seem to have a godlike power. Because most people are too imprisoned in the moment to plan with this kind of foresight, the ability to ignore immediate dangers and pleasures translates into power. It is the power of being able to overcome the natural human tendency to react to things as they happen, and instead to train oneself to step back, imagining the larger things taking shape beyond one’s immediate vision. Most people think that they are in fact aware of the future, that they are planning and thinking ahead. They are usually deluded: what they are really doing is succumbing to their desires, to what they want the future to be. Their plans are vague, based on imaginations rather than reality. They may believe that they are thinking all the way to the end, but they are really focusing only on the happy ending, and deluding themselves by the strength of their desire.

I should probably read more Hellenic literature, so as to study this phenomenon further whenever I get the chance. Beyond that, I see a way of relating to the Left Hand Path. To be godlike is to have complete control, or as close an approximation as possible, of your own destiny. It’s not hard to recognize that you are not going to be in control of anything if you consistently allow yourself to be ruled by the present moment, the changing seasons of the day, and your emotions. You certainly won’t be in control of your own destiny if you can’t plan it out. You will either remain a limited creature, subject to the whims of “fate”, or you will surpass that through your capacity to sit back, observe the circumstances and be able to maneuver them and approximate wisdom of the gods in Olympus. I’m sure the analogy is understood.

Scene from Jason and the Argonauts (1963) in which the gods watch Jason from Mount Olympus.

And speaking of divine analogies, we see another in the introduction to the book…

Related to mastering your emotions is the ability to distance yourself from the present moment and think objectively about the present moment. Like Janus, the double-faced Roman deity and guardian of all gates and doorways, you must be able to look in both directions at once, the better to handle danger from wherever it comes. Such is the face you must create for yourself – one face looking continuously towards the future and the other to the past.

In other words, eat shit people who relentlessly quote Siddhartha Gautama about living in the moment to justify some air-headed and carefree view of the world!

I jest (well, mostly), but the point is easy enough to grasp: if you want to control your own destiny, and control your own emotions, step outside of the moment and look at it from that position, with objectivity. Much as a deity might step outside of his or her creation, looking down upon its inhabitants and observing things as they are, assuming we’re dealing with a rational deity of course.

The other law I want to talk about is the law of concentrating your forces.

Law 23
Concentrate Your Forces
Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another—intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.

Various websites offer the following interpretation of this law, which I can’t seem to find in the book itself:

Are you in a state of total distraction and diffusion, hardly able to keep your mind in one direction before you are pulled in a thousand others? The modern world’s level of conflict is higher than ever and you internalize it in your life.

The solution is a form of retreat inside yourself to the past, to more concentrated forms of thought and action.

1. Single-mindedness of purpose.
2. Total concentration on the goal.
3. Then use these qualities against people less focused.

Such an arrow will find its mark every time and overwhelm the enemy. This is what happened to ancient Athens, which lusted for the faraway island of Sicily and ended up losing its empire. The Romans stretched the boundaries of their empire to encompass vast territories; in doing so they increased their vulnerability, and the chances of invasion from yet another barbarian tribe. Their useless expansion led their empire into oblivion.

The text in question is related to the book, specifically page 174, where it talks of how the modern world is more divided than ever, in terms of individuals, families and political groups, there is more social conflict than before, and that this external state of things is internalized by humans resulting in a constantly distracted state of mind for the majority of the population. Keep in mind, the book was written during the mid-1990’s and published in 1998, but if you look at the modern world of 2017 I think you will find that not much has changed from his day except for the fact that social media is now an all-encompassing aspect of life, which can only entail more distraction for many people. If anything, it kind of feels like the conflict and division in the modern world has been getting worse, or at least that’s the case in America which is now more polarized than ever, but even here in the UK I think we are starting to become polarized in the same way as the Americans.

But going back to the point, I’ve often felt like I get distracted a lot. I do my coursework, and sometimes find myself staring at the screen before promptly eyeing another stimulation. It’s something that I struggle with throughout. I’ve written a schedule to try and order things, and I think I keep to for the most part but I suspect that I sometimes flout it unintentionally. I also sometimes feel like I have multiple ideas for what I want to do with myself and take a long time to settle on just one goal. A good example is with my guitar. I have thought about actually making music with it at some point in the future, and the reality of career expectations notwithstanding I have envisioned a few directions for my style to go in (all of them some form of metal though, let’s be fair) and I have yet to pick one over the other. Sometimes, I find myself to be pretty all over the place in many aspects, having a lot of things I want to do and not focusing on one thing nearly enough.

When I heard that law, for some reason I thought of an idea that I came across earlier from Friedrich Nietzsche which is referred to as “the organizing idea”, which seems to be traced to the book Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is, which incidentally was the last book he wrote in the years leading up to his fall from sanity.

Meanwhile, the organizing idea that is destined to rule keeps growing deep down – it begins to command, slowly it leads us back from side roads and wrong roads; it prepares single qualities and fitnesses that will one day prove to be indispensable as a means toward a whole – one by one, it trains all subservient capacities before giving any hint of the dominant task, “goal,” “aim,” or “meaning.”

This idea was apparently something that he proposed as a way coordinating and ordering an entire multiplicitous structure of desires, drives and forces within the psyche or self: one overriding drive or ideation to rule as lord of the psyche, to grant the individual the ability to live his or her life with single-minded devotion towards a source of meaning in that life. This idea is said either to be attained through self-creation, the fashioning of an ordered, harmonious and unitary self out of the multiple elements of the self in the sculptor’s vein, or discovered over the course of the individual’s life, revealing itself to the individual at points, leaving the individual to seek out the organizing idea. I wonder if Luciferians relate this to the concept of the True Will, in reference to the Azal’ucel or the Holy Guardian Angel in Michael W. Ford’s work, in which case the True Will would be the organizing idea that the individual has to seek out, attain an understanding of or transform into in order to organize the self. On a slight tangent, Ford’s Luciferianism can be seen as pursuing essentially the kind of the journey that Nietzsche advocated – to descend into the depths, to bore the foundations, in order to explore the psyche in a journey true self-knowledge – and for Ford this journey is largely undertaken either through bare bones self-exploration or through the pursuit of occultism.

I thought of the organizing idea as something to concentrate forces behind, often in a personal and spiritual sense. A guiding force at the center of a life path, your activity. I don’t know if it’s apt, but I think it’s an approach worth thinking about.

So why did I talk about these ideas? Well, because they convince me more than ever of the value of an internalized sense of order, and of structure. They show me these things as paths to power, strength, wisdom, self-direction and the enlightenment of the Left Hand Path. Together it gives me a really good crystallization of the path I would take: not to join the kingdom of light, but to rule a kingdom of shadows, the dark kingdom of the soul. To step back, see with a detached set of eyes and take control of one’s fate through the human capacity to order the world around him. To transcend one’s own limitations. That last part is also important for the following reason: increasingly I find myself more and more aware of the fact that most humans are limited creatures: most of us favor group-think to some extent, most of us think we are rational when really, while not totally ignorant, we are only partly rational and often subject to delusion and ignorance, most of us are weak in the sense that we give into emotions such as fear with ease, and most of us are not capable of facing the darkness. Rare is the man who wants to make the journey to the underworld.

Shiva and his host of chthonic, “demonic” attendants (the ganas and bhutas).


An addendum to “Chaos shall make America, and the West, great”

There’s something I overlooked when I wrote about the rise of the populist right in Europe in the last post I wrote, “Chaos shall make America, and the West, great“. It has just come to my attention that Italy will be holding a constitutional referendum on December 4th, and the media seems to be talking about it as though it will ultimately lead to an Italian exit from the European Union.

The referendum is a vote on whether or not the Italian government should roll back the powers of its Senate, supposedly in order to make the process of passing legislation simpler. The Senate would become less involved in passing legislation, the number of Senators would be significantly reduced (apparently from 315 to 100) and those Senators will be chosen by the government from local councils rather than be directly elected. As I understand it, the current Prime Minister – Matteo Renzi – didn’t want to hold a public referendum on the matter but he had no choice but to leave the decision in the hands of the people.

There’s a chance that this may be very bad for Renzi, and media outlets are comparing this to how David Cameron held the Brexit referendum anticipating that the vote will be to Remain in the EU but instead found that the vote was for Leave and he resigned because of it. It seems that the Italian public doesn’t have a nice opinion of Renzi, particularly the working class. He was elected on the promise that he would reform the Italian political system.

Now, here’s where the comparisons to the US presidential elections, as well as Brexit, come in. Renzi has been criticized by his opposition for coming out in support of Hillary Clinton, who lost the election – spectacularly, I might add -, as well as his trips to see Barack Obama, both establishment Democrat neoliberals. He is also apparently fond of the leaders of Germany and France and a big time Europhile, which doesn’t exactly help things considering that popular opinion of the EU is declining in Italy and so is the Euro currency. It also doesn’t help that the economy in Italy is apparently stagnating and Renzi is also viewed by some as a typical silver-spooned card carrying member of the elite. In addition to this, there has been talk of Renzi resigning if he does not get his desired outcome (A vote”Yes” to his referendum proposal), just like David Cameron did after the Brexit vote. This is why there are fears that the referendum could be used as an opportunity by sections of the Italian public to express their anger with Renzi, and for the populist right (or populists in general) to take advantage of the situation.

It’s worth taking a look at the Five Star Movement, a populist movement started by Beppe Grillo, who happens to be a comedian. That’s right: an entertainer, with no obvious experience in government, starts a political movement to challenge the power of the establishment. No wonder, then, that this guy identifies with Donald Trump – himself not only a real estate tycoon but also an entertainer of sorts, a reality TV star as a matter of fact with his own cameos in other media, and without any political experience at all, and he still defeated Hillary Clinton. Grillo has said that Trump’s victory represents an “an explosion of an era” and “an apocalypse of the media, TV, the big newspapers, the intellectuals, the journalists”, and he identifies this victory as basically a massive V-Day – V referring to “vaffanculo” (which means “fuck off”) – a public event designed to express disapproval with perceived bad policies. They apparently reject traditional politics in favor of direct democracy and collective political mobilization powered by the Internet, which is interesting given how successful Donald Trump has been on the Internet to the point where he was seemingly backed by meme magick. There is also Lega Nord, a right-wing populist, anti-immigration and anti-EU party, who have also expressed support for Donald Trump and view his victory as a defeat for the establishment and political correctness.

Even more interesting, CNBC claims that market analysts are more scared of this upcoming Italian constitutional referendum than Donald Trump’s victory, possibly because of the speculation that this referendum might lead to an Italian exit. I am uncertain as to whether this is actually true, but if it is, then it is very significant. Unlike the UK which joined the EU in 1973 (back when it was still the EEC), Italy is one of the original core members of the EU – alongside France, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany – which means that if Italy leaves then it might significantly damage the EU. Regardless, there is an opportunity for the populist movements in Italy to score a significant political victory. If the Italian public votes “No” to the upcoming referendum, then they will have signaled their rejection of the will of Matteo Renzi, and it may become part of a wider trend of populist and right wing victories across Europe and thus Italy may prove to be the next major step in this broader trend of what is ultimately anti-establishment sentiment.

Thus I will follow the developments of this referendum and the outcome as best I can, because with all the speculation and caution from the media it does look interesting.

In bocca al lupo to all my Italian viewers who my share interest in this shake up the Western establishment.

Chaos shall make America, and the West, great

Apologies in advance for subjecting you to another lengthy post about the electoral victory of Donald Trump, but there are some things I’ve been thinking about not just with Donald Trump getting elected, and the prospect of his presidency as I now see it, but also the prospect of other political developments – which I will get to later on in this post. Essentially, I want to talk about what I think of as some of the wider ramifications of Trump’s victory, and I had no desire to split my points into separate posts.

Before I get to my main point let me first explain that I am not one of those full-blown hardcore supporters of Donald Trump who likes everything he has to say, nor am I a supporter of the Republican Party, nor have I been in favor of a Trump presidency from the beginning. At first I disliked him because, at the time, I actually thought that he might become some kind of unstable dictator. I reluctantly supported Bernie Sanders, despite his very socialist-sounding platform, on the grounds that he seemed to be a politician who wanted to offer meaningful change to the political system (particularly on the point of money in politics). I wanted to see him defeat Hillary Clinton, mostly because already hated her (she was, let’s face it, literally the establishment candidate, and I despised her newfound sense of identity politics the more I learned about it). But before the Democratic primaries ended, it was starting to look like Sanders’ revolution was full of crap, and after New York he lost big time and it was starting to look like he was going to lose. Plus, I got sick of all the talk of Bernie’s revolution after that loss. Then for a while I supported the Libertarian Party and their nominee Gary Johnson. While this was the case, I learned more about the election cycle, and I had learned about the narrative that had been crafted by the establishment, as well as everything about how the left-wing/progressives had come to be the establishment and the elite and I realized that Trump was not the man that they painted him to be (though he may be many things) and I was appalled at the level of half-truth and manipulation that had been presented to me. However, this didn’t push me towards Trump just yet, it just made me give him the benefit of the doubt.

Then the DNC leaks came, and I learned that the DNC deliberately rigged the Democratic primaries in a concerted effort to secure the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton. And after the primaries ended, more leaks followed, showing more collusion and more corruption with the media and various other parties to manufacture the Clinton presidency. Then Gary Johnson started acting like an idiot, rather than the sane third option that I thought he was, and kept going from there, and in the end he failed to make it to the presidential debates. Then more leaks, the Clinton Foundation, the Veritas tapes and the stupidity of the Billy Bush tapes scandal came up. And not to mention, I learned about her no-fly zone plan and the fact that it would actually require going to war with Russia, who controls the airspace, leading to the prospect of a new Cold War with Russia turning hot which, in the worst-case scenario, would actually involve nukes, which would lead to the same nuclear annihilation we all feared in the 1980’s. And not to mention the literally Cold War style propaganda we’ve seen, blaming Russia for everything under the sun. So after rejecting the establishment narrative, seeing the corruption and subversion of American democracy and watching the third party I supported reduced to abject failure, I decided that Trump, despite him being an often thoughtless buffoon, was the only option left. Not that this is all he was, mind you. If he was truly nothing but an idiot, I suspect he wouldn’t have gotten very far. In fact, I at least think he was clever enough to use the legitimate issue of Hillary’s corruption and use it against her. And in the end, I think that at least Trump might actually disappoint on at least some of his promises (like building the wall on the southern border for instance), because even though the Republicans control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, I know for a fact that a lot of Republicans still don’t like Trump or his policies (as a matter of fact, quite of few of them abandoned Trump over the Billy Bush tapes), so he could wind up having to deal with being blocked. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, I believe would have an easier time getting what she wants. After all, we know for a fact that she not only has years and years of political experience behind her and also connections with powerful and wealthy interests. I doubt that she will have much trouble getting most of what she wants. And don’t kid yourself, she wants more war in the Middle East and she wants to get America into a war with Russia.

Anyways, long story over, now that Trump has won the presidency what do I see? The media in abject horror, having to face the fact that the candidate they banked on and backed wholeheartedly has failed – despite the conspiracy orchestrated by the DNC and despite collusion with the media. Those who supported Hillary, both the public and celebrities, gushing with sadness, believing what they have been told (remember, these people actually believe, or have taught everyone to believe, that Trump is literally the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler). Much of the world taken by surprise, when frankly the people should have known better than that. And mass protests on the streets, sometimes with people resorting to vandalism and, in a few cases, even possibly people attacking other people who voted for Donald Trump. The supposed good guys, in service of what they believe to be their greater good, have truly unraveled or shown their true colors now that they realize that their preferred outcome will not come to pass. And while they speak of fighting the rise of hatred, it is in fact their own hatred and irrationality that is on public display. The old order of things is, clearly, undergoing a major shake-up. And this is kind of what I want to see happen.

You know what the irony is? I bet some of Trump’s supporters, at least some of the more Alex Jones-y types out there, are the kind of people who fought that Hillary Clinton represented a kind of “New World Order” and they thought that they were going to stop the formation of a “New World Order”. I say, hogwash! I believe Trump and his supporters have done the opposite. Far from stopping the formation of a new world order, they have pushed back against the old order of America and they look set to establish a new one. And it shall be forged out of chaos.

The chaos I speak of is not necessarily the entire country descending into total anarchy, but rather the same kind of massive overhaul that we Brits experienced with the Brexit. I’m sure my fellow Brits know what I mean. The Remaoners (might as well drop the formality with them) refused to accept it, and British politics had unraveled, but it had also been revitalized. Public participation hasn’t been so important in ages. Before the Brexit came along politics was lifeless, useless and seemingly distant from the common person. In the run up to the vote, the establishment was against Brexit – world leaders tried to discourage Britain from leaving, the political establishment waged a propaganda war (Project Fear) against the British people, and they even went out of their way to use taxpayer money to produce a booklet in order to persuade the average voter to vote Remain. After the vote, the political parties in this country (most of the main ones anyway) have undergone a lot of changes. David Cameron resigned and so the Conservatives had appoint a new leader, and thus we had a new Prime Minister. Labour has unraveled as well, undergoing massive division to the point of gutting itself. Nigel Farage stepped down as UKIP leader, naively assuming that his work was done, leaving a power vacuum within UKIP, but also subjecting it to a greater state of in-fighting. The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, are at the vanguard of the old order of things, taking up the side of 48% – the people who lost and now want to oppose a legitimate democratic mandate. Not sure what the Greens are doing though. They seem to have faded into the background in all this. We underwent a lot of tension, division and we voted to cut ourselves off from an overly centralized economic union with superstate ambitions led by unaccountable bureaucrats who, for a clear majority of people, do nothing for the people and think only of their own advancement. And when we voted to Leave, our political establishment and landscape unraveled, and politics had been revitalized by the referendum, which by the way had record voter turnout.

Donald Trump’s electoral success is having a somewhat similar effect, only so far it doesn’t look like any of the political parties are undergoing any major changes (that and I’m not sure how high voter turnout was in the recent presidential elections). American politics is in an interesting position. On the one hand, this election cycle has been a shitshow and the average voter has never had a more negative opinion of either of the mainstream candidates – both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been despised by large sections of the public, and I’m assume a large number of Americans didn’t bother to vote. On the other hand, now that Trump has won, I think that once people realize that they cannot undo the election result no matter how many American flags they burn, and that the electoral college will most likely not do it for them, I think it will dawn on them that, like with Brexit, participation in democracy becomes more important than being angry at Trump and then releasing your anger on everything around you.

Talking of Brexit, there’s something else to look out for. Last month, while we were all thinking about the US presidential election, Iceland held a general election of their own and the winner was the Independence Party. Iceland is not part of the European Union, but it seems the possibility of becoming an EU member is a contentious issue. Not to mention, Iceland had its own Project Fear. And next month, Romania and Macedonia will hold their own general elections. Romania is an EU member, while Macedonia has yet to become a member. In addition, Austria is having a redo of its presidential election in December, and it seems that the right-wing populist party – the Freedom Party of Austria – has been growing in popularity while the more mainstream political forces have been in decline. And don’t forget 2017. In March, the first country to have a general election will be the Netherlands, and it’s possible that the European migration crisis and recent Islamic terror attacks will play a part in convincing people to vote for Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, which is anti-Islam, anti-multiculturalism and anti-EU. In April, France will have its own election, and it has been anticipated that the French government’s and the EU’s lackluster response to the spate of terror attacks it endured over the summer will prove to be quite a political windfall for a Eurosceptic hard-right party called Front National. And then there’s Germany, which appears to be at the center of Europe’s problems. Not only is Germany bearing the brunt of the issues generated by mass Middle Eastern and North African migration, but its government has been working with social media companies to prosecute individuals who dissent from its agenda. I anticipate that Germans will have a lot of resentment for their current government and the EU, and will probably elect a new government just to oust the current one. It doesn’t help things for Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor, that her party has suffered defeat in recent local elections. In in October, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg will have their own general elections as well, and it looks like there may be resentment for the EU growing in the Czech Republic. Depending on who wins in these elections, there’s a chance that more EU referendums will be held in European countries within the next few years.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the populist right, Eurosceptics and generally anti-establishment forces in Europe found themselves emboldened and inspired by the success of Donald Trump’s campaign. After all, no one expected a radical populist to win the democratic mandate of the American people and thus get elected as President of the United States of America, particularly when the entire establishment was against him. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole thing sparks a chain reaction across Europe which will weaken the European Union and cause it too to unravel, and perhaps eventually collapse.

Going back to America, I think a Trump presidency with a Republican Senate and House is going to have another effect. I expect the pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans to be in conflict with each other, as they do not all agree on Trump’s policies. Read some traditional conservative outlets like The Blaze, Red State or The Federalist and then read outlets like Breitbart and you’ll understand the split between the conservatives who are for and against Trump. If anything, I think it shows that party unity isn’t a guarantee with the Republicans. However, I think there will be a shift towards the right in America, possibly even in other parts of the world as well. The left has suffered a major defeat in this election, and the regressive left and progressives in general have paid a heavy price for glossing over Hillary Clinton’s obvious dishonesty, corruption and warmongering ambitions with the perverted cult of identity politics. People fed up of the regressive left are likely move to the right, and Trump’s victory may validate this in the minds of many. But there is also a movement of classical liberalism on the Internet, particularly on YouTube, consisting of people who are just as content to criticize conservatives and the alt-right as they are to criticize the regressive left. And let’s not kid ourselves: after Trump, the regressive left will lose the power of Western culture that it once had, and after successfully defeating the establishment, Trump will become part of a new establishment. This is what rebels and revolutionaries do, for their basic goal is ultimately to overtake the system and replace it with their own design, the only other option being to ride out into the sunset and let someone else do it. Not to mention, I think there will still be plenty of people who don’t like the fact that conservatives now control the government and still don’t like Trump all that much. They won’t change anything through protests, riots or political violence, so in Trump’s America they will have to actually participate in democracy, which means engaging with the system via political pressure. If you don’t like what the conservatives might do, remember that democracy doesn’t begin and end with elections – or referendums for that matter. The will of the people is not limited to a vote, and a government bound to democratic principles is unlikely to pursue something massively unpopular unless it didn’t actually care or had vested interests driving it to begin with.

My hope is that Americans, as well as all of us in the West, will recapture what Saul Alinsky considered to be the essence of the democratic way: conflict. Not in the sense of civil war or political violence, but rather a conflict of culture and ideas, the same conflict that enriches democratic societies and human ways of live. I’ll quote Alinsky himself, and this is a quote I find very fascinating:

Conflict is the essential core of a free and open society. If one were to project the democratic way of life in the form of a musical score, its major theme would be the harmony of dissonance.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Chaos is a necessary thing in this world, at least under the right circumstances. Alinsky correctly identifies this harmony in dissonance as the lifeblood The only time you don’t find this harmony in dissonance is in totally authoritarian and totalitarian societies, where this is no freedom and thus no room for a conflict of ideas and values to happen. It is absent only in societies that do not even breathe. And yet I fear we are losing this lifeblood of democracy, and not just to a new rise in anti-democratic sentiment. When think of Western democracy before 2016, I think for the most part of a culture and system that inspires apathy. The public has been lacking confidence or even interest in the institutions of democracy, our leaders seem like they’re just typical gormless politicians who don’t give a damn about the common man, the media is less than objective towards the establishment nowadays (whilst being very adversarial towards certain figures opposing the establishment) and powerful and wealthy interests have a foothold and can influence both politicians and the media. These are not good signs in what should be a healthy democratic culture. Without the shockwaves and the unraveling of the old order of things produced by Brexit, Donald Trump and the rise of populism, this would not change and thus stagnation would become inevitable – at least before the new Cold War goes hot that is, but I bet few people would even notice by then because the West would be too inculcated in pop progressivism and identity politics to even realize what is going on before it’s too late. In the case of Brexit, this is also necessary to stop the centralizing of international power which would invariably come at the expense of democracy – this is what “ever closer union” means, by the way: national identity and national power being slowly conglomerated into a single international entity, one that will require authoritarianism.

In addition to this, I think we as a species are becoming weak. We are becoming complacent, dependent on the establishment and external forces to guarantee everything for us. Our minds our becoming weak and we need a great unraveling of this weakness, we need this system to be shocked and challenged so that, ultimately, we will become greater and more evolved for it. And this is being facilitated, if not outright engendered, by a combination of the chilling culture of political correctness, celebrity culture, consumerism, and in general the soft attitude that seems to come with mainstream culture. Mark me when I say this needs to be corrected, and we cannot do so under the current order of things. Ironically, it can also be shown that the establishment has proved somewhat complacent in its own right. It took its own power over the Western zeitgeist for granted, while refusing to engage openly and honestly with any dissenting influence.

And this is why ultimately, I now not only accept the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections but am ultimately in favor of it in the long run. Not only was Hillary Clinton defeated, but potentially so was the current culture dominated by the kindly authoritarianism brought about by the regressive left and the weakness it engendered in the human spirit. A brief forest fire is often necessary to clear the way for new life to grow and allow the seeds of certain pine trees to be released – therefore, constructive chaos becomes a necessity in the presence of stagnation. Trump and his campaign are proving to be that forest fire. At any rate, I would prefer the proverbial forest fire across the West to the prospect of a nuclear war. The chaos I speak of is necessary in order to wake up the vast majority of people, shake them up and force them to adapt and look at the world as it really is, detached from what they have been fed by the mainstream. And this will put society in much better shape than it is now in the process, having been forced to re-examine itself and undergo a significant paradigm shift. Ultimately, I think this will rejuvenate a culture wh


The orderly impulse and the need for balance

With just one more week before I return to university and begin my third year of academic study as a game design student, there is something that hit me. I have been on summer break for about four months. That is a lot of time to potentially do nothing – I mean besides write more blog posts, spend time on my guitar and play video games, of course. And there was no plan, no structure to it all. Why would there be? I had way too much time. A fool might even tell me “you have all the time in the world”.

But now I find that I resent this. I had too much time on my hands. I now think that there was basically no order to it. It always weirds me out when I think about how I often say I like “Chaos” at least to a certain degree, and in particular how I used to gas on about it when I was in college and during the early years of this blog. On reflection, I feel reminded how I have what might be called an orderly impulse, or a desire for some order, that exists alongside my more “chaotic” instincts. I guess it might just be then when I’m trying to do some things, like work, I just like having some structure to work with and then run with it. I also have a desire for more control and discipline, and the lack of this has been the cause of some woes. Part of me thinks it might actually have something to do with being autistic, due to one of the things typically associated with people on the autistic spectrum is a tendency to prefer predictability, structure and order. But then how come I always tend to favor freedom at least when talking about my views, or my worldview. I tend to think that people should generally be free to make their own choices and follow their own inclinations (at least without causing harm to other people), and I always thought that putting order above freedom made such a thing impossible.

Point is, as I may have written about before, actually, the part of myself that wants some kind of order and structure is there. At the very least, the discussions I had with student support on the matter were a good reminder of that, and of balance because I also know that certain impulses or desires, or even values, I would think of as “chaotic” are still there, and still a big part of who I am. This is probably why Luciferianism appeals to me, if I think about it – because both of what we call order and chaos are very much viewed as part of the self , if not generally seen as two sides of the same coin. It’s also why I put Varuna on the “deities” list (speaking of which, I should really think about deities vs deific masks at some point, perhaps after reading enough of Michael W. Ford’s literature).

At any rate, I should stress that I’m not the kind of person who prefers order for order’s sake. In fact, if you forced me to chose between a totalitarian state and either rebellion or living in the wilderness, I would probably pick the either of the latter two. But in life that dichotomy is usually not present, particularly not in the Western society in which I live – at least for now.

The great struggle

The Asuras fighting the Devas.

The Christians and Muslims proclaim the struggle between God and Satan at the battle of Armageddon, and want to convert as many people as possible so that their God may hold their souls as property. The Hindus proclaim the struggle between their gods and the “ego” embodied by Man and the Asuras, and pray for the eventual . The Buddhists proclaim the struggle of salvation and enlightenment, and the hope that eventually all beings will be saved. The materialistic atheists take their lack of belief in God and the soul and extrapolate it as a struggle against all religious and spiritual belief, guided by the desire to convince others that any spiritual or religious belief is stupid. The leftists proclaim their struggle against corporate America and go about trying to get people to “wake up” – to come around to their viewpoint. The anarchists proclaim their struggle against “the system” and also want people to “wake up”. The feminists proclaim their struggle against the “patriarchy”, and want people to join them in their struggle. The rightists proclaim their struggle to “make America great again”, and will never tire of followers – Donald Trump is not the first right-wing politician to claim this as his goal, and he may not be the last. The communists proclaim their struggle for their ideal “stateless society”. The fascists proclaim the struggle for their perverted notions of purity. Hell I think there are even some in Satanic, Luciferian, or generally Left Hand Path circles who prefer to emphasize a great struggle for liberation from the cosmos and its God. And still there are always the type of people who wish to lead the people to march in the name of progress, against the old and unfashionable world order.

For a lot of people the world of Man is locked in a struggle of light versus darkness, the old versus the new, the rich versus the poor, science versus belief, materialism versus spirituality, theism versus atheism, the left wing versus the right wing, male gender interests versus female gender interests, one racial interest against another, capitalism versus socialism (or versus communism depending on who you ask), liberalism versus conservatism, war versus peace, love versus hate, and many other struggles. And the majority of the time, it’s believed that one must prevail over the other – and anyone on the other side is surely misguided or evil. If it feels like you’re either part of a revolution or just fodder for the system, you should know that something’s wrong. Everyone’s got a vision for the world, an ideal to follow, and for most people it’s always about an ideal for other people to live under and they’re always looking for followers; their cause is useless without them.

To be honest, I think the idea of a great struggle goes back even before the establishment of monotheistic belief. You tend to notice many conflicts found in the older polytheistic mythologies. The Aesir versus the Jotunn in Norse mythology, the Egyptian solar deity Ra or Amun-Ra versus the serpent of annihilation Apep, the Olympians versus the Titans in Greek mythology, among other examples. It may have been that in old polytheistic traditions, that conflict was a little more balanced, or simply representative of natural processes. But of course, religion and politics march on. Even then though, sometimes it kind of seems like one side is supposed to win out over the other, just like in today’s narratives of the great struggle.

In a way, I’m reminded of the Law and Chaos conflict. Even as a usually pro-Chaos person, I can come around to the fact the struggle between Law and Chaos even leaves little room for the individual to do much other than follow the figureheads of the Chaos faction and then ultimately enact their vision – though that might be because of real-life figures reminding me of some of the worst aspects of the Chaos factions in the games, some of which I’ve been willing to overlook in the past. But even the Neutral fans can be like that, insisting that their way is correct (usually citing canonicity, which is weird because -in my books at least – the individual’s relation to the story supersedes established canon in the MegaTen series). And even in some of the games, or at least more recent games, taking the Neutral path doesn’t always feel like asserting individualism (like a lot of people claim) – you’re still following someone else’s cause or following someone else’s orders (Stephen in SMTIV and Commander Gore in Strange Journey).

If I have a struggle, it’s the struggle to fulfill my own ideals, my own convictions, and to preserve my own liberty – without lapsing into herd mentality or unhealthy extremism. I will fulfill my ideal, and carry my Reason, without imposing on the liberty of others. The cause of the continued survival and advancement of freedom is the only cause I want to be a part of – even then I can imagine groups of people claiming the cause of freedom, and then actually fulfilling the exact opposite as part of their dynamic as a group (but hey, that’s often what happens when people think they can achieve liberty by promoting group or herd mentality).

I say, be who you are on your own terms, and don’t just someone else’s struggle if you don’t sympathize with them, and even if you do try to make it about your own fulfillment – or at least, your own relation to a cause.

The ballad of order and chaos

Over the course of the week I’ve been feeling a peculiar thing. I’ve recently begun reading Don Webb’s The Seven Faces of Darkness to find out about what he refers to as the Typhonian Current, and on one of the early pages, I read about Don Webb outlining two approaches towards magick he encountered: the practical occultists who prefer simply to use magick and want to explore and manipulate the world around them but eschew research, logic, or precision, and the scholarly occultists who love research and value logic and reason while remaining reluctant to put into practice the theories they discover. Webb felt that a synthesis of the two is possible. This reminded me of what good game design should be, as outlined by Ernest Adams and Andrew Rollings in Fundamentals of Game Design. Some people think game design is an artistic process, predicated principally on imagination and creativity, and game designers are thus artists seeking raw aesthetic and creative expression, while others think game design is only a kind of engineering, predicated principally on methodology and the implementation of rules for play rather than creativity or aesthetic expression, but in actuality game design is neither art nor pure engineering, but a craft that must bring together both creativity and careful planning and combine aesthetic and functional elements to create a well-functioning and enjoyable game, with the goal of entertainment in mind. Thus, a synthesis of two approaches, or rather two disciplines, is required of good game design. And I can’t help thinking that the more I think of that idea of game design the more I might find ways of applying that far outside that, which I suppose might serve as a decent contingency for if game design at university doesn’t work out for me.

The idea of this kind of synthesis seems familiar to me, and I relate it to the themes of Order (or Law) and Chaos. For the camps described by Don Webb, the practical occultists seem like a more chaotic approach at the expense of precision or research of theory, while the scholarly occultists seem like a more orderly approach at the expense of practice. For game design, the element of creativity and artistic expression seems like it can be related to the chaotic principle, while the implementation of rules of play and the presence of methodology and careful planning clearly represents a contrasting orderly principle. And game design and magick doesn’t feel like the only area where this synthesis could be noticed in areas of my life and personal interests, as I think many of my personal interests and tastes are not solely chaotic. For instance, metal. While I don’t claim to know much about music theory, but I have feeling there is more to the metal music I love than just raw and liberating chaotic expression and sonic aggression. Part of me suspects that it feels chaotic, but at the same time that force is brought out by technique and good musicianship. And although not all metal music is particularly technical, I think it requires at least more sophistication than punk rock music, or for that matter your average mainstream rock hit. In my own world as a creator, I think I have organized my creation in some way before, and how it might be, though this may be partly because I had making my own video game in mind a lot for a while, and when I create my world I have often put it in the context of making of game at least in my mind. I believe in freedom, but I also recognize that in our world freedom tends to be best preserved in systems that are built upon the premise of preserving liberty. I usually lean towards the belief that this requires a meritocratic system (due to the frequent failure of democracy by virtue of its vulnerability to mob mentality and unbalanced avarice), one in which leaders and officials are elected on the basis of their talent, ability, virtue, and strength of character, which would invariably require a certain amount of organization and order. Such a world would need whose who are fit to lead to inspire order, but it should also allow people to grow and influence that system by their own talents and self-belief, their own capacity to disseminate order as well as, invariably, their own desire to stake their own claim in the world and fulfill their own desires, so it would be a dynamic world order.

Not to mention, even though I’ve proudly proclaimed Chaos as a glorious thing, I have been thinking I want some structure in my life, especially now that I’m a second year university student who has not only various interests and desires, but also commitments and the obligation to study and/or do coursework. In my mind this is particularly true for me while I’m doing game design because we’re expected to do a lot of planning. It’s not just about making assets and going into engine, it’s about managing your time properly. It’s not just about doing the work, but how you intend to go about it and how much time you spend on it. I’m told that in industry you’re less likely to be hired for a masterpiece of an asset that took weeks to create than for something you can do in days, because in industry time is money and neither time nor money are limitless. Not to mention, particularly outside the course, there’s things I like to do or want to do but I haven’t been making much time for in the past few weeks or even more than the past month. Things like drawing, art-making, reading, gaming, guitar practice, etc. Part of me feels that, although chaos is a wonderful thing, it has its ups and downs. Chaos is wonderful because there’s no restrictions imposed by others, that means you’re never forced to do anything, but it might also mean there’s no guarantee of any motivation to do things beyond your desires, and your desires aren’t always very productive if you think about it. But of course, that at least hinges on the premise that you aren’t going to give yourself any direction without any kind of push. For a project to succeed, or even to achieve your goals in life, you need personal investment towards a goal, the will to achieve, but you also need direction, sometimes even a good kick in the ass if need be, to get things going.

This may seem strange, but I have this feeling recently that my life as I have lived it may have in some way been leading up to the completion of a realization that hinges on the dissolution of the boundaries between order and chaos, through which I understand not only the self, but the true nature of that life force I would have previously referred to principally as Chaos. Currently I see structure on an individual level as an aspect of will and imagination, and light and darkness as, though possessing distinct characteristics, shades of each other or of the same kind of force. And I remember talking about the dissolution of the boundaries between intelligence and emotion. Now, I would think of this as being predicated on much the same thing. I don’t believe in Order as in strict adherence the laws and rules set out by others, with no self-interest or freedom to bend the rules, but I do believe in the Self creating its own order, and in your own world you’re preserving the way it’s arranged. In a way, these are very much aspects of the self, and at the middle of the polarity, perhaps the full, raw (yet elegant), empowering and enrapturing power and life force of the self, the will, and of imagination; perhaps, the Black Flame in its truest form, defined not by light and darkness, or the power of just Chaos. And all in all, it’s important to remember the ultimate importance of the Self in the grand scheme of things. That’s the Luciferian way (and I guess the Satanic way as well) as I see it, and I think it’s also my way.

This all spawns more from reflection than ritual, but I think ritual might lead this been taking to a whole other level under the right conditions. I think art would help a lot too, and I have a series of paintings I wish to create along this theme.

Baphomet, a symbol of the synthesis of light and darkness, and order and chaos.

The willingness to create structure

There was a lecture I had in university yesterday morning about game design theory, and an interesting thought occurred along the way. A lot is made of how in the game industry you as a designer will end up working for a client of some kind, with specific ideas of what they might want (not sure if that’s completely true in the world of indie games but that’s besides the point), about the need to meet the demands of consumers, and how creativity can only account for so much. But it’s important to remember you can’t make a game for everyone, and I did learn that if you have an idea for a game, it’s entirely possible to find a demographic for your game and hone in on it. Not only that, but if you focus on that niche, you may in fact be more likely to succeed than if you tried to have something for everyone. Like putting something from Battlefield in a game that isn’t Battlefield for any of its competitors, for instance: the result is something that’s just half of Battlefield in a game that’s supposed to be completely different.

And along the way it occurred to me that maybe, if you do all the planning, the market research, and the consideration for who’s going to receive your game idea as soon as you plan the idea, which would be somewhere in very early stage the game, likely before the pre-production stage, then you might just be free to explore the creation and production of what you really want to make, knowing that you’re making it for people who might actually want to play it. And that takes thought, consideration, and planning, specifically coming up with a plan for what you’re making. And I thought that maybe that planning and that consideration is what frees the creator in the world of game design, rather than having an idea and just expecting it to get through on the sole basis of it being your fondest creative vision.

I think it takes a certain faculty within the human self: the willingness to embrace and create structure to benefit your own personal goals or to fulfill your own desires. Order or structure is ultimately a product of the will, so the power to create it is another expression of the self, its will, and its potential, rather than as necessarily being detrimental to the imagination, or at least not if applied in tandem with creativity and/or flexibility in the case of game design. With that in mind I feel something about my attitude towards order and chaos might be changing, as I hope to explore in a future blog post.