Planting Too Many Seeds

During the early 17th century, pamphlets proclaiming the existence of a mysterious Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross caused a sensation in Europe. Yet, few, if any, were actually accepted into the Brotherhood (if it existed as such), despite a number of public petitions.

It is difficult for us to imagine why this was such a big deal. Today, we are flooded with choices — choices of movies, bars, restaurants, and shops, etc. Likewise, spiritual “traditions,” groups, Orders, sects, and so on, have sprung up in abundance. And if there’s nothing that really suits us, we can just pick from a few traditions, mix them together, and make our own tradition.  Continue reading “Planting Too Many Seeds”

Three Ancient Greek Texts for the Warrior-Philosopher

Within the vast surviving body of ancient Greek texts, the philosopher-warrior can find a wealth of knowledge on the art of war and self-initiation through philosophy. Since the Greeks are not known to have written manuals or how-to books, but intentionally veiled their secrets and truths across multiple texts, I have carefully selected three that when put together meaningfully contribute towards both the warrior and the philosophical path. In approaching this vast topic, I categorized the material not in a chronological, but in a dramatic order. This order also follows the Platonic thought of the three parts of the human soul (appetite, spirit and reason), with the aim to cultivate the corresponding virtues (temperance, courage, and wisdom) and for the mutual harmony between soul and body. Continue reading “Three Ancient Greek Texts for the Warrior-Philosopher”

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”