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 listened to a 2-part reading of 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
ahead.

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).

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Control and the political dichotomy of the people and the state in a Luciferian context

There was a video released by Michael W. Ford on his YouTube channel about the Greater Church of Lucifer and its focus. It was very inspiring, and it particularly gives a good idea of how to conduct yourself as a Luciferian, shows me that having like-minded individuals doesn’t detract from your own individuality or that of your path, and actually inspired me to print out and laminate a business card  with the 11 Luciferian Points of Power on it, so that I can carry the 11 Luciferian Points of Power with me everyday and hopefully remind myself to pay closer attention to them and try and apply them regularly in my life. In other words, a good reminder of the basics for Luciferianism.

For your potential viewing and learning pleasure I will put the video itself below.

There’s actually one unique point I feel inspired to comment on as the main subject of this post: that the Luciferian understands that all politics is ultimately about control, and that control is not in itself a bad thing. For a while, I thought about that? In what sense is control not a bad thing? It’s a common thought that control means the ability of external bodies such as the state to impose their own will upon the individual, without the consent of the individual. Naturally then, it could be assumed that the obvious reason why a person like myself would support libertarian political philosophy and libertarian spiritual philosophies such as Satanism and Luciferianism would be because people like me detest the idea of control in the external sense, because we don’t want to be controlled by anyone. But in the internal, individual sense, control means something rather different. Self-control is a good thing, it’s one of our important faculties as beings with individuated consciousness capable of mastering our own destinies. It’s also vital is we are as a species to achieve any kind of self-sufficiency, or if we are to avoid lapsing into mob-mentality and complete suggestibility. It’s precisely because most of us do not believe we can control our own lives and achieve that self-sufficiency that the imagined need for external authorities arises in the minds of many people. As author Ryan Holiday put it:

Control and discipline of one’s own reactions make for a successful person and a functioning society. I don’t think you want to live in a world where that isn’t the expectation of each of us.

It’s also vital that we don’t practice any kind of restraint simply for the sake of submission to polite “society” or for the sake of winning the favor of others, but instead for the benefit of yourself so that you may cultivate discipline, patience and mastery, and fully cultivate any kind of autonomy. You can’t be a fully autonomous human being if you lack the self-control that makes you completely suggestible to various whims and negative emotions any more than you can if you are a complete robot or drone constantly acting in obeisance to the will of others without any sort of independent thought whatsoever.

Politics as simply external control, however, is something that can seem like a sensible conclusion. Once you look behind the certain of often baseless moral hyperbole, you may find that few politicians are ever interested in a greater ideal alone. Worse, if they are, they may be devoted only to that ideal, and either uninterested in its practical implications or unable to answer for them. One need only look at America’s current presidential election cycle to see this play out. That’s not to say it isn’t admirable to sacrifice pragmatism in the name of a principle, after all I tend to instinctively be a “liberty over prosperity” person myself, as evidenced in my own personal Euroscepticism – while others in the UK may prefer to Remain in the EU out of concern for the country’s economic standing, I choose Leave as a matter of the principle of independence from a distant and indifferent external authority regardless. But the thing with many idealists out there is they may be blind to any concern for pragmatism or practical application of their ideals. Only their crusade matters.

But getting back to the point, it does seem obvious that many politicians are only out for some kind of control. Any attempt to find any moral justification in authoritarian or illiberal legislation being proposed by governments or politicians yields the same result: that there is no real ethical or logical value in them, so they are purely mechanisms designed to bring control into the hands of the State, or sometimes into the hands of other bodies such as religion. A good example is probably the anti-pornography legislation that the UK government has been trying to introduce, with of course some backing from the British press (and not just sensationalist papers like the Daily Mail, but also “educated” papers like the Guardian and even The Independent). A familiar argument is that pornography is supposedly damaging the minds of those exposed to it and increased availability leads to sexual violence. However, research done on the subject suggests exactly the opposite: that increased porn availability reduces sexual violence rather than increases it. Indeed, this debacle is a very old one. In America during the year 1970, then-President Richard Nixon tried to get rid of pornography and claimed that its “warped and brutal” portrayal of sex was damaging the public at large. His own administration, upon conducting research on the subject, produced a report which concluded that there was no evidence that pornography had any harmful effect on anyone, and naturally discouraged anti-pornography legislation for adults. But Nixon himself rejected the report and its content as morally bankrupt and continued to oppose the right of adults to watch pornography regardless. In the absence of any ethical or logical justification, it was nothing more than a move to put control of some of aspect private life in the hands of the state.

Since the dawn of civilization, or even the dawn of mankind and communities in general, Man has attempted to exert control over populations of people. In the ancient world, it was perhaps more transparent, especially on the matter of war. From wars carried out by nations to conquer foreign territories (from the ancient world right up to the modern age), to civil wars fought in divided and fractured nations (the many wars fought between rival powers in China and Japan are a great example), the aim is often quite transparent: domination, control, the establishment or preservation of one’s political power. Whether or not this was good or bad was usually not a matter of principle, especially not in the modern Christian sense, but rather – as always – dependent on who was wielding power. A good ruler may have put conquered territory to good use and enriched the lives of newly conquered people, preserved a just and prosperous civilization by fighting wars of defense, and used his/her power to enrich the nation or community or simply preserve what is already good. A bad ruler may have treated a newly conquered people with cruelty for no good reason, subjugating them and his/her own people, often for short-term and petty gains, cultivated a corrupt civilization, destroys anything good about it and established dominion and took power only for the sake of having dominion over others and carrying out cruel, extravagant or tyrannical whims. Sometimes, though, a bad ruler is simply an incompetent one, or even one who will not accept and use the strength and power that he/she needs in order to do any good for a nation or community. Even so, power is power, control is control, and many of the dichotomies in our civilization have been ultimately of power versus power. History will always have its way of deciding who was good and who was bad, or rather help us make that judgement for ourselves, but ultimately political power is neither good nor bad, unless applied in such a way by the individual. Just as, like Michael W. Ford said in the video I put here, the individual can make the GCOL great or diminish it entirely through his own efforts or lack thereof, so too is power as tool that can generate, preserve, destroy, or diminish based on the individual wielding it.

What’s important to remember is that in the ancient world, there was simply the rulers and the ruled, and the relationship between them was mostly static, rather than dynamic. Sometimes there was room for the people to rebel against their rulers, but very rarely did it feel like the people had the “right” to dissent (the Mandate of Heaven in China is the only example off the top of my head that I can think of, where the people actually have the right to get rid of their ruler if he is found to be unjust at least in the eyes of Confucian morality). And usually, civilizations were ruled by monarchs who wielded basically absolute political power. With the rise of democracy (read: representational democracy, not direct democracy), the people generally have more of a say with regards to who rules them. This doesn’t always mean more freedom for the people from control, and there’s the chance that such very freedom can be put to a vote – the people have sometimes willfully given control to the State through the vote. But it does mean that the people have a more dynamic relationship with the state, and they can win some control from the State. Representational democracy, from what I understand, hinges on a kind of balance or power struggle between the powers of the state and the people, even though I generally prefer that the best government is the least and favor the rights and freedoms of the people. I also notice that the fascists, the totalitarians, and the authoritarians always seem in favor of disrupting that dynamic relationship in favor of a more static one, perhaps suiting their extreme black-and-white outlook. The anarchists, and to some extent the communists, also want to do away with this dynamic relationship in favor of “rule by the people” or “stateless society”, thinking that the people have the self-sufficiency to do without it or will just operate out of “the goodness of their hearts”. But, until such time as we as a species at large cultivate such self-sufficiency that we no longer have any need of governments and external authorities, we will have to deal with the dynamic relationship and power struggle that defines our democratic civilization, continue to strive to make it work for us as best as possible, and maybe we’ll get a little closer towards achieving the self-sufficiency that will make external authority obsolete for the vast majority of people. In a sense, that is how you free Mankind from external control: not by working to replace the dynamic relationship found in democracy with a more static relationship (thereby reverting to the ancient past) or by destroying it entirely for a species who has not achieved the self-sufficiency required to do without it, but through an evolutionary process – one that, for better or worse, democracy is very much a part of.

Chaos, the will to power, and the Black Flame

I haven’t finished reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra yet (though I think I’m getting closer to the end of the book), but I’ve found some information about the concept of will to power as espoused by Nietzsche that I think leads me to believe that the “all-powerful life force: passionate, chaotic, and free” I’ve read about on the back of my copy in fact refer’s to this concept of will to power.

Will to power is the concept of a life force behind all that is, characterized by the drive to grow in power, become stronger, and attain mastery and overcome both the world and the limits within, and Nietzsche apparently felt that every form of becoming and appearance, even reality itself, is an expression of the will to power. Having learned somewhat more about this will to power, and discussed it with others, I think the life force I envision can expand to the will to create, the will to express, the will to expand, the will to become immortal, all perhaps related to or complimentary to the will to power. But I feel I feel the life force I envision might be more than just will to power (at least by Nietzsche’s definition), as I feel there are other attributes to it reflected in other ideas. After some thought, I think the all-powerful, passionate, chaotic life force of freedom and personal power is at once the power of selfhood, the power and life force tied to the Black Flame, the hotly glowing flame of desire, imagination, being, and the “I”. And I am Black Flame might not even be the only name for it, the Flame of the Adversary or simply the Inner or Chthonic Flame might work too, or even simply the Satanic Fire, but the Black Flame is a name that really sticks, and I especially like its connection to the ideas of the Temple of Set, which teaches the Black Flame is the life force and the source of consciousness in the individual. You could say this is what Satan represents in the context of Satanism (though I admit this is usually in a non-theistic context; however some forms of Satanism or demonolatry refer to Satan as a force representing the All from which all demons originate, as is my understanding anyway). And as I mentioned before, this force can potentially be reflected in other concepts from other cultures.

It’s hard to find images to illustrate this life force, but I think this might be a really good one.

At any rate, I feel like I understand the life force I’ve been looking for a lot better, and with that it might be easier to make it grow in me and fulfill my being through it; because in the end, no matter what, I feel like it’s my life force, and I think I at least reflect that in how I prefer to express myself as an individual. Could I still refer to it as Chaos? Probably, though I have made statements in the past that Chaos was more a state than a force, and I don’t think I’ve revisited and reconciled that yet.

 

How power can make a difference

Power affects everything in the human world, and I don’t mean some kind status of authority. The power of the will, the strength that backs up our desires unabated by obstacles, is the power that makes a difference in the world of humans. This does not suggest a misguided social structure in which only people of physical strength and muscle are allowed to live, as has been the foundation of the ideas behind fascist nations. Instead, it entails an observable reality of the world in which we live, wherein those who have the will and both the drive and strength to exert it upon the world are the ones who get their way in this world.

When one shows a lack of will to do anything at all, it becomes a sign of either a lack of any sense of personal power or the abdication of it, and once that goes you either have a real mess on your hands, someone else takes the opportunity to act that you didn’t, or both, and in our world the power of will is ultimately necessary to uphold any kind of social order. There many instances in the world were the lack of power causes problems. When regulatory bodies who have a reason to exist do not exert their authority, corporations can do anything they want at the expense of their customers. When there is a lack of political will for any kind of reform in order to resolve serious issues, that reform never happens and things only get worse. When politicians do not exert their will over people who could buy them off in order that they might go against their plans, they get bought and then become corrupt. So when will is not exerted enough, social systems can fall out of control and the wrong people can run roughshod over the whole system and the people. And in the personal world, when no courage is summoned, or no will exerted, opportunities don’t wait for you and so pass you by instead, other people can take them instead, or your life can fall out of control, and I am certain whose who are aware of their own lives can see many examples of such.

Who is Lucifer?

Do you remember some months ago when I promised to do a post about Lucifer after having basically become a Luciferian or started identifying with it? Well I have been having some trouble piecing to together my particular view of Lucifer in simple terms, but I’ve come to a solid conclusion.

I feel that Lucifer, regardless of his status as a literal or non-literal being, is an example for me as a Luciferian to follow. Lucifer is the figure who looks at the state of the world, isn’t satisfied with it, won’t put up with it, and wants to change it into a better form for himself because he feels he has the will, and his fire burns within him to do what is right. To that end he steps up as a leader unto himself, he works to create his own lot in life, he works to change the previous state of things into something better, he works to make a world grand and above any, he spreads liberty out of his own genuine belief in liberty, and lives by his own fire, the flame of inner power and essential spirit and being which can be identified as the Black Flame. That’s what I mean when I refer to Lucifer as an example for me to follow, or indeed one that any Luciferian would likely follow. I want to live in which passion, honor, and freedom are achieved, and not just once either, I want it to be my life, my being and personality expressed in fullest, purest form, instead of that sense of being finding only death like what can happen to the majority. For this, Lucifer must be the profound example I refer to, one that leads me to a life of passion, honor, and freedom, and symbolically devour life, knowledge, and strength, by which I mean I hope to absorb it, and at of it, just as Lucifer proclaims his rightful throne in the heavens and the stars, I if I become strong will take heaven for myself, and of my design. As long as Lucifer is that profound example for me, who knows what’s possible?

That, is basically how I see Lucifer. You can see him as an angel, a devil, a deity, a heavenly body, a human, or even pure potential itself, and the latter part strangely enough can make sense in a way, but I see the mythical Lucifer, the Luciferian Lucifer, as an example to follow, one through whom I need to find strength, and it doesn’t matter if this goes on in the world of ritual or in day-to-day life because any Lucifer worth his salt would never be that limiting.

Fan art of Lucifer (identified as Helel) based on his Shin Megami Tensei and Persona appearances.

More metal

I’m not sure, but I think something may be rising. Recently I’ve been buying metal band patches for my jacket with impunity, and even when I should be paying to attention to preparing for when I get back to university and doing games design again, I’m more likely to want to just listen to tons of metal and explore bands I haven’t really bothered to touch upon (even when I should have) as well as explore stuff I already am familiar with a little more (although granted a large part of the reason might be to justify putting more patches on my jacket, but why not if it justifies more immersion in metal). I also have a strange feeling I’ll come closer to the power spontaneity and pure energy if I do this and continue with my guitar practice, and I might find a way to channel that power and energy, and by doing so I may become stronger and fulfill some ideas and goals about my personal spirituality that I’ve laid out since a few years ago.

I feel like opportunities might come for me in this direction very soon, and I might find my way into the life I was meant to live and being what I’m meant to be, myself in its ideal state or potential, and find success by doing so and perhaps even make some difference along the way.

Standing on my own

After I had finished the first of my presentations yesterday, I got into conversation with one of my fellow students, and she raised an interesting point about confidence. She told me that it feels harder to do a presentation when you’re on your own or you’re in a small group, but it’s easier when you’re in a large group. And I remembered that what I desire is not to be stronger by being in a group, but from my own internal strength. From that point on I realized another aspect of the scope of my quest. My goal is to reach a new level of inner strength, a strength I do not know if I have yet.

I want to achieve the kind of strength where I don’t have to take comfort in the group any more, and I am interested in the means of attaining that strength. Since my vested interest is towards mental, emotional, and spiritual strength, I’m interested in the means of attaining that strength. As a Left Hand Path practitioner I’m very open towards magical means among other means. However I can achieve the strength I’m looking for, without going off the wagon so to speak, would be very welcome. Then, I can be stronger on my own, and celebrate the way of the hero.