Modernity And The Dormant Demi-Gods of Manhood

What would have become of Herakles do you think if there had been no lion, hydra, stag or boar – and no savage criminals to rid the world of?” asks Epictetus in his Discourses. “What would he have done in the absence of such challenges? Obviously, he would have just rolled over in bed and gone back to sleep. So, by snoring his life away in luxury and comfort he never would have developed into the mighty Herakles. And even if he had, what good would it have done him? What would have been the use of those arms, that physique, and that noble soul, without crises or conditions to stir into him action?

Epictetus wrote these meaningful and eternal questions on the issue of manhood, and, of course, on the issue of power: Power, understood under the scope of the Primordial Tradition, not as the misconstrued, politically-correct caricature of power as tyranny, corruption, or misogyny. Continue reading “Modernity And The Dormant Demi-Gods of Manhood”

Raising Hell, Storming Heaven

Plans are necessary for the long haul. To varying degrees, we can plan our careers, where we might live, our diet, our physical training, and our studies, etc. But, as Mike Tyson has famously said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” When that happens in life it’s necessary to go rogue, internally: to overhaul our psyches, and break our habits and burn our maps that have laid out what is and, more importantly, what is not possible for us. Continue reading “Raising Hell, Storming Heaven”

Pity Not The Fallen?

“Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler.” Of all of the statements in Crowley’s Liber Al vel Legis (Book of the Law), the above is one of the most controversial. It is also one that contradicts Christian morality and the modern political zeitgeist that emerged slowly from it. For both of these movements, the meek, the downtrodden, and the hurt are avatars of moral goodness.

What does it mean, not to pity the fallen? Isn’t it right, normal, and even noble to pity, to want to console, and to want to help those in distress? Don’t we deserve pity when things go wrong in our lives? Both Christianity and our modern secular morality would unreservedly and enthusiastically say yes. Continue reading “Pity Not The Fallen?”