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.

Accept distinction, reject sameness, and stand out with pride

Sometimes on social media I encounter ideas that are familiar, but stupid. One of those ideas is that we were once all the same before the advent of race, religion, wealth, class, whatever bogeyman you can think of led to our separation. It’s utter foolishness, because there are always things that distinguish us from everyone else. Intelligence is one thing. Creativity and imagination are other things that always separate us. Yet another is strength, and how much a person has acquired. Still another is morality and philosophy, the ethics and principles by which each of us abide by. Even nature divides us through the bodies we are born with. We all have different physical attributes (such as fingerprints, genes, physiological proportions, even DNA), and you’d be hard-pressed to find two people who are completely identical. But the single most-important factor in the distinction of all human beings is, ultimately, ourselves.

We are all different in terms of our individual being, and everyone has different personalities, character traits, attributes etc, but we also distinguish ourselves by the actions we take in our lives, our interactions with others, how much we make of our lives, and the experiences and fruits we reap of them. In a sense, we are distinguished by our souls and, you might say, our karma. We all bear identities distinct from others, and we all take different paths from each other. So long as this is true no one is the same, and no one is equal at least in nature. We are all entitled to the same rights under the law, and we are all entitled to equality of opportunity, but no one will ever truly be the same because everyone invariably distinguishes themselves one way or another, no matter how small the distinction is. In my opinion, the only way to truly recognize the individuality of sentient beings is to accept this fact. I think there are those who try to advocate individuality on the basis that we are all the same, and in my opinion such an attitude is hypocritical and self-contradictory. How can you believe that we’re all different, and that we should all be ourselves and be individual, while at the same time believe that we are all actually the same? If you believe that we are all the same, there is no point in maintaining any arguments of individuality, and I feel there really is no room to sit on the fence with this matter. Only by accepting the reality that everyone really is, in fact, different, can you truly advocate individuality without self-contradiction, because when you strip everything else that made us different, the only thing we have left is ourselves, our desires, and our will, and it’s usually those things that make us all different more than anything else.

Somehow I get the feeling that the people who can’t accept that we’re all different try to believe we’re all the same because the flip-side everyone being different means the potential for conflict because we can’t all agree with each other, and they fear conflict because they think we should always be at peace. I would think a state of peace would involve people being able to co-exist despite their differences, and of their own will and desire. There’s also a cynical feeling I have that people want to think everyone is the same so that they can get off thinking everyone else is the same as them, which might be convenient for people with serious problems. There’s is a third idea I have that people think we’re all because, to them, everyone not being the same as each other means being isolated and alone, and to me this only says that people can’t find friendship or brotherhood with others without some kind of conformity element involved, which should worry you in some ways.

In my personal experience, I have always felt myself different from others in some manner. I’m fairly certain that when I was younger I didn’t always have a clear idea of how I was different besides the fact that I was autistic and therefore considered one of the special needs students, as my life went by I may have been aware of things that did or was interested in that no one else was. By the time I was 16, I began to know for sure I was different from everyone else, it’s just too bad few people were very close to me enough to understand how. I didn’t care at all for how everyone else lived their lives, I was interested in the mythology and world religions (and a small spark of occult, but I was a tad shaky on that back then because I had no idea what it was) while few others were and I was keen to express that in art class, I tended to have political ideas that were different from others (I identified as anti-government, libertarian, anarchism, and often with the left), and in general operated differently from others, even my brother. This stayed true in art college, my sense of distinction from the majority of mankind continues to this day, and over the yeas my sense of identity has grown stronger. I do not suffer loneliness and isolation at least on the internet, though it’d probably be nice to have more interaction with others with similar persons outside the internet and outside of whatever classes I’m in. Really the only form of loneliness that is a major issue is that lack of someone who is special in more ways than simply a friend: a significant other, perhaps the one who I would probably consider an equal.

I’ve thought a little bit, and I think a new life goal is clear to me: because I know, or at least truly believe, that I’m different from everyone else, one of my goals in life is to make myself shine brighter than everyone else (if you’ll excuse the arrogance) based on that which makes makes me unique and makes me who I am. Whatever path I take in this world, I want to stand out above the crowd for what I am, and take one or two opportunities to reach out and make an impact with my being and, what I feel, brilliance. I won’t go out without expressing myself to the end. It’s strange that I think I feel this way more strongly after I started identifying as a Luciferian, or it might be just that I know what I want more, might be both. It might be a long time before you might see me shining brightly, but one thing is for certain: I don’t plan on being one of those celebrity types everybody clings to.

The illusion of society

Progressively I have been moving towards the idea that, in truth, there is no such thing as society or the collective. The collective is nothing without individuals, as is society. They both mere agglomerations of individuals. They cannot exist as their own individual entities, not least as entities that are positioned above the individual, and they do not have any intrinsic value on their own.

The idea that society exists as its own entities is at best deluded and at worst indulgent for all the wrong reasons. It allows the weak and the conservative something to cling to and worship, and it allows those who are those the progressive and who seek “social justice” to have something to scapegoat. In the modern world, many people either fall in line with society or demand society to fall in line with them, depending on their disposition, but neither cause is ultimately conducive to freedom for the individual. Worse, the concept is a continued source of thought slavery and delusion for it makes it harder to treat human beings as individuals, since you end up treating individuals as just part of society rather than as individuals.

To be honest, I feel that society is just another scapegoat, a means for humans to avoid blame for their own faults. In fact, I feel society is truly an egregious scapegoat of scapegoats, because by shifting our own faults and sins to a baseless entity like society, we halt our own personal liberation and depreciate our own selfhood. How? Because we still attach the basis of our moral being to society and its conditions, and by doing so we divert ourselves from individual moral being. How can we be our own moral beings individually if we attach ourselves to the concept of society, especially when that concept is illusory?

It should be noted that due to its obviously pervasive nature in the lives of almost all humans on earth (and probably every human you are most likely to encounter), the illusion of society is a difficult illusion to completely break from. And I don’t plan on suggesting we all live as hermits, isolated from civilization and its benefits. All I hope is that, in our civilization, more and more individuals can defeat one great illusion that depreciates our selfhood and thus move just a little closer to true freedom.

Know thyself, and act upon thyself, but don’t worry

I feel like sharing a piece of advice with the world, I guess just to do something for New Year’s after still not posting anything here for a week.

If you know who you are, what your nature is inside, then follow it. Follow what you discover to be your true nature and your true beliefs. Be who you want to be, who you know you are, who you honestly see yourself as, but don’t discourage yourself or get yourself down when you don’t think you are living up to that ideal. There might be a lot of chances in this life to fulfill the goal of exerting your self-identity to the world and live as such, but you might not always live up to that, and that’s OK. Don’t be afraid to show who you are in personality, actions, tastes, and ideals, but don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’re living up to it. If you are conscious of yourself and of following your nature, I don’t think you have too much to worry about. Just so long as you don’t completely lose sight of your individuality and your quest to see it through in this world before you die.

And with that, I wish all my readers in advance a Happy New Year.

Shouldn’t God be for individuality if God created individuality?

Pretty much every religion that believes in a God seems to tell the same story: God creates the universe, God creates life, God creates mankind, and God creates self, individuality, and soul and endows it mankind (you could say God gives it to other animals but let’s not start that debate), but then God, according to the religions who believe in God, wants mankind to give up the self and individuality to be “one” with God. Every time, it begs the question: why would God create the self and create individuality only so that it may be surrendered to God?

If God is the source and progenitor of the self, shouldn’t God support the self, or reward the individual for nourishing and defending his/her genuine identity and self (and not that thing many religions tout as “the true self”), instead of asking for submission and acquiescence, or even assimilation, of the individuality of the soul? If that were true, then God also cannot judge anybody for who they are because God made them that way. But no, in every religion that believes in a God, he apparently creates the self and individuality only so it can be surrendered by the individual. Same with desire. Why create it if all you want is for mankind to give it up? And I don’t mean control or restrain, I mean surrendering it to God. What is God thinking?

There is the possibility that all the religions that believe in God have all this time have only had ideas of what God wants with the self and just invented all that crap about surrendering the self to suit their ambitions of control, but there’s only one problem with that: if what all religions describe is not the true will of God, what is? And if you believe in God, but reject all religions and all holy texts, how can you ever know or be sure of what God’s will truly is, especially regarding the individual self?

The sacred cow of unity

I had been reading articles from fellow Satanists about unity, and how the goal of unity (or more specifically the idea of uniting everyone under one banner) is basically nothing more than an obvious and vain attempt at a power grab, a scheme to exert greater control and authority over more sheepish followers. I thought about that sentiment and not only do I see where they’re coming from, I actually, in some way, agree.

I’m not against all peace, cooperation, or harmony (unless it is founded on the wrong reasons or is based on oppression, ignorance, or deceit), and we can’t have conflict all the time, but I was always against the idea that we should be unified under any one banner, or be merged into a single collective consciousness or hive-mind of any kind. And don’t get me wrong, the problem isn’t the sense of solidarity that comes with people uniting to face a greater foe, the problem is everyone uniting a banner more permanently, and usually it is the banner of someone seeking greater “power” over others.

As an individualist, and a Satanist, I cannot stand for any uniting under one banner in a permanent sense. I support individuality and freedom above unity and cohesion, even at the expense of unity and cohesion.

Why the world is such as mess…and a key root of my philosophy

Last night I was watching The Graduate with my brother, what struck me was the character of the main character. He was weak, so easily seduced by a woman he didn’t even want. He was weak before her, not exerting control over his life around him, and he was a real doofus who lets everything blow up in front of him and makes everything worse for himself. I just think of how a man of stronger will and mind, and nobler character, would act. And then my mind takes me to what I dislike about the world, why I think it’s a mess, my answer to the world, and what I value.

(Now be warned, this post isn’t really about the movie and the rest of the post has little if anything to do with the movie or my assessment of it).

I believe the world is a mess not merely because of the existence of tyranny and evil, but the fact that we keep allowing it to happen, and part of the reason this does happen is because we’re too weak or stupid to oppose it. The world is a mess because people are a mess; confused, weak, and they do not fight for what they believe is right. We, particularly as adults, tolerate gray areas to easily, not pursuing clarity and strength of conviction. Though life itself may not always be clear, we cannot perceive it or carve a path through it in confusion. This is why I criticize those without a clear idea of what they believe, or a clear answer to the world, I criticize lack of strength of will or conviction (or moral strength).

This is at the root of my answer to the world is all about: besides my basic tenets of freedom and individualism, and by extension personal power, (which in turn is at the root of why I embrace ideas such as egoism and how I got into Satanism), there is also strength of will and conviction, a clear answer to the world, the will to fight for your answer and carve that path for yourself (which relates to my morality instinct). This is at the root of my criticisms of the world, and its tendency for inaction even when evil, and mediocrity, stares it in the face.