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.
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.
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.
There’s something about the Indian deity Agni that inspired me and was not already talked about on the blog thus far. Apparently the Vedic Indians did not just see Agni as a fire deity. They also saw Agni as the power that is connected to the will and action and related powers. One of the Upanishads portrays Agni in a similar vein. In some interpretations, Agni is not just a singular deity, but a force of fire that motivates willpower.
In my opinion, this idea can be expanded outside the Hindu context. I believe I have mentioned the Fires of Chaos at some point. Well perhaps the Fires of Chaos can be taken as as a force behind the will. Or, you could apply a similar theory to Satan depending on how you choose to interpret Satan, or even God for that matter. Not to mention the concept of the chthonic flame I mentioned in the past. Invariably, it could be an extension of a greater fire.
Going back to Agni, it’s interesting to note how the Vedic Indians believed that the power associated with Agni could be strengthened by Rig Vedic chants to Agni. Given they believed willpower was a projection of Agni, would it make sense that chanting Vedic chants to Agni was meant to strengthen willpower? It’s certainly an interesting concept to adapt.
I have been meaning to elaborate more on the principle of Chaos I mentioned earlier.
In past blog entries I have primarily described Chaos a primordial force in the universe, but now I feel ever closer like Chaos is an individual principle. It is inspired by the Shin Megami Tensei faction, as you would already expect, and as I imagine Chaos is the principle of freedom, individual, will, and primal nature. It is the principle in which individuality trumps collectivism and we make our own order for ourselves. It is the principle where freedom is more important than social order, and no rules, laws, and codes should harm freedom or stand in the way of the liberty of human beings. It is the principle where if doing the right thing must cause upheaval, than let it be done. It is the principle that espouses raw ethics, derived from the inner self, as espoused to externally espoused ethics, and where the only rule is to follow yourself and think for yourself rather than obey other people. It is the principle of being yourself, following your own desires, even if you are despised or unpopular for it, and expressing yourself freely even if others consider it indulgent and selfish. It is the principle where we create our paradise, rather than accept any false paradise laid before us. It is the principle where we embrace our primal nature, and work with it.
That is Chaos. That is what Chaos is to me. That is why it’s the philosophy for me.
I have revisited an old piece of writing I made for my old Foundation art project, and turned it into a new prayer evoking new and old deities and new ideas that have grown in me. Below is the prayer:
By the stubborn will of Chi You,
the dark desire of Dairokuten Maou,
the burning light of Ashura,
the youth of Murugan,
the water of Varuna,
the horned force and dark draw of Beelzebub,
the primeval creativity of Shiva,
the radiant energy of Shakti,
and the guiding principle of Chaos and freedom,
with Liberty and Justice at my side,
I proclaim my individuality and invoke strength and fire within
So mote it be
It should be pretty clear what the deities refer to: Chi You is stubborn, Dairokuten Maou is lust, Ashura represents belief in righteousness, Murugan represents youth, Varuna is water and balance, Beelzebub is the dark draw towards the demonic, Shiva is spiritual focus, intensity, and purely raw creation. Shiva is also the primal nature of the universe, a wild deity but also a light-bringer, and Shakti is the prime energy that motivates the universe, love and war, and Mother Nature on a grand cosmic scale. Beelzebub is also a stand in of sorts for what would otherwise be called Satan, a representation of the horned force, a symbol of the ideals of Satanism and Chaos. Liberty and Justice are, obviously, freedom and justice, the two ideals I value the most and a link to America. And Chaos is the principle of freedom, individual will, and primal nature inspired by Shin Megami Tensei, and the chief springboard for me being on the Left Hand Path in the first place.
It’s been only three days since I started my term in university, and already I’ve started feeling a sense of pressure on the first day, and there’s still a little pressure and worry now, but aside from that I feel like I’m becoming stronger, more confident, more bold, and more upfront. I feel much more confident, and I feel closer to my goals than ever before.
There are still times when I feel like the quiet one, but for the most part I feel I am emerging in confidence, expressing myself confidently. I feel so happy, but I still don’t think I’ll be satisfied until I see just how far I’m going.
If one thing is certain, is that nothing in this world can be done without the will to do so, and you can not expect the will to do so to just miraculously appear. You must summon it yourself, and that basic spark is courage.
Nothing will be done without will, power, and courage. Be brave, be strong, and you can act upon this world and act in freedom. This is easy to do, but somewhat difficult in actual practice. But we must all do our best to summon that small spark of strength each day if we want to act, we especially need it if we are to embark on some of the great undertakings in life, such as love. And if we don’t, at least we tried.
I’ve been doing some thinking about myself, particularly regarding confidence and shyness, and I have been thinking, it’s possible that the shyness and reservedness I often express in real life is, or was, a defense mechanism for me which I employed when I was trying to deal with people, or avoid dealing people, when I was dealing with puberty.
Of course, I can be distant, reserved, even shy in more recent times, though I guess that’s mostly in time where I still feel distant or unconnected towards a group of people. Back when I was 12-13, and for quite a long time afterwards, I was shy, unable to deal with people around me, not wanting to deal with people around me, actually kinda awkward and clueless, and struggling to find myself and deal with the world around me, and reflecting on it I feel I was holding back my potential and my strength. From later years onwards, I know my self as I do now, and I suspect there were clues before that, through various cultural media I revealed what I believe in to myself, and I’m strong and confident inside, but I haven’t been letting it out most of my life.
Since I will be going to university soon, I feel I will be afforded a chance to let out my true potential when I can, be confident and honest about myself, and take myself to all sorts of new heights without any unnecessary and self-suffocating defense mechanisms. I know I can do it I try.
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.
Over the past week my perspective on Chaos has been shifting, especially after I was contemplating yin and yang. I began to worry that my definition of Chaos was too aligned to the Yang side of duality.
Though this force is beyond yin and yang, or more or less both, I begin to see Chaos as not a spiritual force, but a state or ideology (an idea which I believe I’ve explored before). As a state of the universe, it is a state where the universe has no ruler or master, everything that ever was, and will be, emerged spontaneously, and motion and change occur all the time, but it is in this state of Chaos, the wilderness, that we are, on a spiritual level, free to create our own structure, or “order”, out of the raw materials of the universe, using our will and mind. Or at least, as long as we are not thought slaves, which tragically in our society we are. Which brings me to Chaos on an ideological level. As an ideology Chaos advocates that we are and should be free to create our own structure and follow our own path, fighting off the forces of spiritual entropy and doom, as opposed to Law (note that I borrow from Shin Megami Tensei) which states that there is an order set for us that we must follow.
It’s worth noting that the spiritual process of creating structure out of the wilderness of the universe calls upon the intellectual, thoughtful, conscious side of the human mind. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I refer to Order as Law to connect with the roots of my spiritual philosophy, and because I am starting to develop a shift in perspective regarding order, though I still do not prefer that term compared to structure, since I still believe the term order risks aligning me to Law.
Now for the primal force. I have mentioned before that Chaos was this primal force and motion of the universe, the carnality of everything. But as long as Chaos is a state of the universe, I feel it would be more accurate to describe this primal force as “the horned force”, or just Shakti. Traditionally, Shakti is a feminine concept, but here I use it in a gender-neutral term to refer to primordial cosmic energy, the primal force and motion behind all there. After all the word Shakti basically means “Power” or “Energy”. Besides, Shiva and his wife Parvati/Durga/Kali (traditionally referred to as Shakti) are basically female inflections of each other. Where there is one, the other is often implied. One is the male image of Shakti, the other is the female image of Shakti.
You may call it The Horned Force, Shakti, or simply The Primal Force. Either way, it refers the primordial energy of the universe and its divine carnality. The passion and breath of life that runs through all living beings. I find it can be symbolized by both the Aum and the pentagram, usually together. This primal force has both male and female manifestations. One has male and female sexuality, and there is the horned god and the earth mother, and the earth mother is actually something of a yin-ish trope. However, the female sexual power is also well symbolized by wilder and fiercer goddesses, such as Kali. The primal force is the source of life, but just as it is the source of life it also brings death, since life and death beget each other. It is the motion of both creation and destruction, thus it begets and consumes everything.
The Primal Force is actually very much welcome in a Chaotic universe, and in ideological Chaos, because by power and will we remain free. The passion and life are welcome because, as creatures of Nature, which itself is a direct product or manifestation of the same primal force, we have passion and life (which our society seems bent on taking away from us), and we ought to have the freedom to enjoy passion and life and all things that come naturally to us. Looking at it from the prism of the Shin Megami Tensei series, the forces of the Chaos faction mention such things as passion, life, and joie de vivre (examples include Strange Journey, Raidou Kuzunoha versus King Abaddon, and Shin Megami Tensei IV).
Of course, in this life, there is always entropy. That force which looms over all of our heads. As I said before, the universe gives life and takes it away, as does the force behind it, and the universe falls into entropy and rises up again for ever and ever. All creation dies and rises. Out of the wilderness, the Chaos of the universe, creatures rise, feel senses and pleasures, and we rose from evolution and began to feel and perceive. And in some way, life, will, and mind rises up against entropy and doom. On the physical level, we fight or struggle for our existence and the right to pass on our legacy, but our bodies eventually die, thus it is only on the spiritual level that we may truly rise up against and prevail over doom. And religion will not help. It is only through individual spirituality and by the will that we may attain the power necessary triumph over entropy. We find representations of this in the battles of Baal versus Yam, Marduk versus Tiamat, Set or Ra versus Apep.
I discount Yahweh fighting Leviathan because it symbolically represents the Judeo-Christian God, representative of the forces of Law oppressing Chaos (and let’s face it Leviathan didn’t do much in the Bible besides existing).
Also, the concept of afterlife is often based around the soul surviving and triumphing over entropy to enter Heaven, and what is a particularly interesting expression of spiritual triumph over doom is the journey of the Egyptian pharaohs to the afterlife, where they take on the power of the sun god and pass through obstacles to paradise and fighting off the forces of entropy, including Apep.
There is however, another way of seeing these battles. They are also reminders of our struggle with the natural world. Yes, we are very much a part of the natural world, but we had to fight for our survival against natural forces that threatened our survival in the long run, and in some way we still do. It is worth noting that early man had to deal with all kinds of predatory or dangerous animals, such as lions, snakes, crocodiles, and other deadly animals, and these eventually become symbols of cosmic entropy (though it is worth noting that the serpent in the ancient was a symbol for lots of things other than evil or entropy, and many animals had other symbolism attached to them). We should remind ourselves though that though we often have to struggle against the natural world around us for the sake of our survival, in the end we are still a part of nature. And though we have an individual self, we are still nourished by the world around us and by nature, often just as much as we are challenged by it. In fact, as we arise from the wilderness of Chaos and are brought to life by the primal force, we take with us the carnality of the nature, and we have our primal nature. And perhaps it is with the strength of the dragon that we are able to combat the dragon that threatens our path and our life.
So, to sum it all up, my new perspective is basically, Chaos is a state of the universe, the Primal Force is the separate but related primordial energy of the universe and I still believe in experiencing that force, and I have a new understanding my own spiritual goals as a fight against entropy, just Baal, Set, and the sun god fought against entropy, and while this is a perspective shift, I find the new perspective fits well with what I already have, and in fact nourishes my beliefs, my values, and ideology.