CHRISTMAS AND THE CULTURE OF “WHITENESS” (Part 2)

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

  • Gospel of Luke Chapter 2 verses 10-14

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PUTTING THE “CHRIST” IN CHRISTMAS

In his prose, “The Jewish Question in the Spiritual World”, 20th century Italian mystic and philosopher Julius Evola wrote:

The term ‘Semitic,’ as everyone knows, has a broader connotation than the word ‘Jewish’… the Jewish element cannot be clearly separated from the general type of civilization that in ancient times spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean, from Asia Minor to the edges of Arabia.”

The ideals of the Northern European peoples, especially in their relationships with the land and nature and their egalitarian relationships between men and women were very different from the Roman/Semitic cultures who formed the foundation of the Christian religion as we know it.  These cultures were largely based in brutal patriarchal dominance and the idea that nature was something to be subdued and utilized.  Ironically, it is the latter culture that has become synonymous with “Whiteness” and the cultural institutions of White Europeans.  Indeed, what we will see is that this cultural label is something that was imposed upon Northern/Western Europeans by a hostile Roman/Semitic cultural empire, as Evola expressed:

What characterizes the spirituality of Semitic civilizations in general? The destruction of the Aryan synthesis of virility and spirituality. Among the Semites we have on one hand, a crudely material and sensualistic, or coarsely and ferociously warlike (Assyria) expression of the virile principle; on the other, a de-virilised spirituality, a “lunar” and predominantly priestly relationship to the divine, the pathos of guilt and atonement, an impure and disordered romanticism, and, beside it, almost as an escape, a naturalistic and mathematically based contemplativism.”

While there are many aspects that make up a culture, and many of them are arguably superficial, it is the archetypal myths and spirituality that truly define them.  The spirituality that came out of the Semitic world is primarily understood by those versed in deep astrology and esoteric studies to be a collection Saturnian/Jovian and Lunar cults- something I addressed in my article, “The Abrahamic Question”.  The people of the arid deserts of the Middle East had a particular veneration for the “gods” of the night sky, and would have undoubtedly had a different perception and relationship with the Sun than did the people of the cold northern climates.

Among the gods of the night sky, Saturn had a special place in the Semitic mysteries.  The Roman senator and historian, Tacitus declared that the Jews considered this planet to have the most powerful influence on human life.  In Hebrew, Saturn is named “Shabtai”, and the Jewish Shabbat is on Saturday, or “Saturn’s Day”.  Saturn is understood as the god of linear time and matter.  Saturn or Cronus in Greek myth, is also known for being jealous and violent (a trait ascribed to the God of the Old Testament), Saturn was the god that ate his own children for fear they would usurp him.  Saturn is the god who accepts the sacrifice of children be it their whole bodies or just a piece of their genitals (i.e. infant circumcision).  He is El, which some may recognize as from the Biblical “Elohim” in the Old Testament.

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The Romans also shared this veneration for Saturn, and even had an ancient festival called “Saturnalia” on what would have equated to the 23rd of December on the modern Gregorian calendar.  This festival was remarkably similar in nature to the ancient Semitic festivals of the goddess Inanna-Ishtar, marked by continual partying, a carnival-like atmosphere that overturned the social norms.

It is understood in many esoteric and occult circles, that the sphere Saturn stands in opposition to the Sun disc.  Saturn is understood to represent linear time, law and restrictions, matter and death; while the Sun is understood to represent the life, growth and the eternal and boundless spirit that never dies.  Saturn has also always represented the Age that has passed, while the Sun rises to new life eternal.  This opposition is mirrored in the figures of Christ and Satan, who are in turn reflections of the Zoroastrian (Indo-Iranian/Aryan religion) Ahura Mazda and Ahriman.  Looking at things this way, we can perhaps appreciate a deeper significance in what became the Bible.

During the time of the Roman Empire it is no secret that there were sects of Jews that were essentially bought off by the Roman Empire.  There were of course the Pharisees and Sadducees, as well as the various houses of nobility and wealthy Jewish merchant and banking elites.  Later on there was even intermarriage between some aristocratic Roman and Jewish/Semitic families (something that is not uncommon among elite families of different kingdoms for political purposes among others).  However, many Jews at that time were becoming increasingly upset with not only the foreign occupancy, but the corruption of their own civic as well as religious leaders.  This led to a serious of revolts and rebellions in Roman-occupied Judea, all of which were crushed by the Roman Empire.

However, by the reign of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in the 4th century AD, the Roman Empire- the largest empire the world had ever seen, had fallen into a cycle of decadence and decay.  Rome was splintering and having the issues that large empires attempting to hold onto vast areas of land while incorporating large diverse populations do.

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Constantine allowed Christianity, which at that time was an outlawed collective of diverse underground mystery cults and Judaic reform/zealot movements scattered throughout the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern world.  Constantine called the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, which made “official” which of the beliefs of the various Christian sects would be incorporated and which would be deemed heretical, and established the Roman Catholic (Universal) Church.  This formed the basis of what would become the “state religion” of the new Roman Empire.

What became Roman Christianity was then fashioned into a political and ideological weapon.   While some say that Rome “fell” in 455 AD after the sack of Rome, the truth is Rome didn’t fall, it simply changed its face.  It would be through the Vatican and the enormous wealth and political power that it wielded, that the empire known as “Rome” would live on, and continue to impose its will upon the rest of Europe.

But fortunately, even this officially sanctioned state religion of a Saturnian Empire struggling to maintain power could not ignore the undeniable Solar mythos that thrived not only in Northern Europe, but in the Mediterranean European world as well.  From an esoteric perspective, it could be said that much of human history as we know it has been a back and forth “struggle” between the Solar impulse and the Saturnian- and the peoples that personified and embodied them in mind, heart and deed.

In addition to the cult of Saturn, there was another cult that operated in Rome right up until the time of the establishment of the Church, and that was the cult of Sol Invictus (“Unconquered Sun”).  This cult was particularly popular among the reputably brave and disciplined Roman soldiers, to whom Sol Invictus was their patron deity.  There are some scholars who also will argue that the date of December 25th chosen officially for Christmas, also coincides with and its holy day of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Unconquered Sun). It is worth noting that references to this cult seemed to “disappear” right around the same time Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Of course, any casual study of Roman Christian symbolism will see that it is absolutely saturated with Solar references.

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In the ancient Greco-Roman world, Jewish travelers and merchants who lived in the cosmopolitan cities like Athens and the Greco-Egyptian metropolis of Alexandria came in contact with Neoplatonic philosophy and its concept of “The Logos” or “Word”- the primal force of creation.  Many “Hellenized” Jews adopted these new ideas and infused them with their own beliefs- something that the nomadic Jews commonly did throughout their history.  One of the most famous of these Hellenized Jewish philosophers was Philo of Alexandria.

These “Gnostics” took a majority of their ideas from the Classical world, which in many respects, had been largely influenced by the Persian Aryan (that is what forms the root of “Iranian”) Empire, and its Zoroastrian religion.  The Persians were of course, Indo-Iranians are understood to be ethnic/racial cousins of the Indo-Europeans who included the Celtic and Norse-Germanic tribes.  The old Proto-Indo-Iranian religions have been shown by some scholars to have common themes that recur in the old Proto-Indo-European religions, particularly when it comes to solar symbolism and worship.  This again suggests a common cultural consciousness.

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The Gnostic sects were known for a rejection of the Old Testament god as being an “imposter”- a blind arrogant “demiurge” who only created matter, but not the totality of the spiritual universe.  They were also known for the worship of the mother goddess Sophia, and her consort, the Christ.  Historically, Gnosticism could be understood as a reaction to the artifice and disconnection from that cosmopolitan life in ancient cities like Alexandria created.  These Gnostics were later deemed “heretics” and hunted down and persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Roman Church could not ignore the Solar mythos that saturated Europe and was part of its Indo-Aryan folk heritage, so it did the next best thing- it co-opted it.  It is perhaps that the forces behind the Empire sought not only to use this new “religion” to re-establish its political control on the people of Europe and the Middle East, but also attempt to subvert and stamp out the true Light that was coming through the various philosophies that became known as Gnosticism.

At their heart, these Gnostic practices were aimed at empowering the individual to tap into the force of “Sol Invictus” within themselves, and discover that, as Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within”.  If we look at the deep esoteric interpretation of the Nativity Story on a “macro” level is a story describing how the Christ Light- the Light of the Eternal Sun- miraculously emerges out of the Womb of the Great Mother, which is the Void of Darkness from which the Light of Creation emerges. The Sun in the sky is the supreme physical manifestation of that Light.

However, this story is just as potent as it relates allegorically to the individual.  We see that “cave” where the savior is born has been known by many adepts to be the human skull.  Mary and Joseph within us are known to represent the pituitary and pineal glands within the brain, as well as the feminine “receptive” and masculine “active” portions of consciousness.  When these are brought into harmony through deep meditation, the two appear to create an area of reflective light, which can almost seem to be akin to light bouncing off two mirrors.  This creates the “manger” within where the child of Light is born in the solar plexus.  When the child is born, the animals in the manger; our animal natures; are tame and brought to peace.  Both the humble shepherds and the wise Magi bow down before the Light of the internal Sun.

Looking at this narrative, we might perhaps see a degenerated elite class that pays lip service to the spirit of the Sun, but seeking to hold onto their finite power they keep the religion of Saturn in their fearful hearts.  Like King Herod in the Nativity story, they are perhaps in terror of their own inevitable obsoletion, they have turned to a religion of the old decaying father that tries to devour the new rising Sun/Son.  In contrast we see the spirituality of the virile Sun that is unconquerable and rises through the strong and honorable who have the within them the infinite Life and Love of the Eternal Light of Creation.  This is a spirituality that has undeniably been best embodied in the cultures and consciousness of the Indo-Iranian/Aryan-European peoples, which have been a much-maligned gift to the world.

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IMAGE COPYRIGHT LIGHTNING WARRIOR MEDIA
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CHRISTMAS AND THE CULTURE OF “WHITENESS” (Part 1)

“The dark shall soon flee from the dells of the earth

So she a wonderful word to us speaks

The day shall again, new made rise from a rosy sky

Saint Lucy, Saint Lucy”

  • The Lucia Song: verse 3 (English Translation)

 

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PHOTO COURTESY OF EURWEB.COM

DREAMING OF A WHITENESS CHRISTMAS

Something that has gained increasing traction in not only academia, but also in popular culture, is the idea that people of European descent, i.e. “White people”, have no “real” culture of their own.  This idea has largely come out of “Whiteness Studies”, which is an offshoot of Neo-Marxist Critical Theory and has entrenched itself into the worldview of an increasing number of people across the Western world.  If you ask any adherent to this philosophy what “White culture” is, they might respond with words like “patriarchy”, “capitalism”, “oppression”, “privilege”, “cultural appropriation”, “racism”, “exploitation”, etc.  They might even say that White people don’t really have a culture of their own outside of Big Macs and Hollywood movies.

There is perhaps no better, more consolidated example to support this view than the modern Christmas or “Holiday” Season.  Christmas and the Holiday Season, have become synonymous with capitalism, commercialism, consumerism, materialism, and of course, racism.  The myth of the fat old white man going around the world spreading “cheer” by distributing all the latest consumer products the “white” global consumerist market has to offer- this is what Christmas or “The Holidays” are all about in modern consumer society.

Plus, add to that the annual resurgence of all the various debates around whether we say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” or what skin color Santa and Jesus should have.  One could even argue that the “origins” of Christmas, i.e. the Jesus Nativity story, is a sort of white cultural appropriation as it is a story involving Middle Eastern people in Middle Eastern lands, that is claimed by many white folk as their own.

In the following series, what I am going to lay out here is the case that what has become known as the oppressive “non-culture” of Whiteness, particularly as exemplified by the modern Holiday mythos, is in fact, something that was slowly imposed on “White people”, who in fact DO have a rich cultural tradition that still lives on DESPITE multiple attempts to twist, subvert and eradicate it over the centuries.  I also plan to show how this rich culture, which has been shared with the world in a variety of forms, is also personified by the stories and traditions surrounding what has become known as “Christmas”, and this culture lives on in us in a deep archetypal and spiritual way, and is available to us here and now.

JOLLY OLD SAINT ODIN

I have written in the past about the Solar myth that forms the spiritual significance of this time of year and the deeper mysteries and parallels of Christianity and the earlier Proto-Indo-European religions.  However, what of the Santa myth that rivals Jesus in cultural significance during this time of year?  What of this seeming archetype of modern “White” patriarchal consumerist globalization?

When it comes to the origins of the figure known as “Santa Claus”, a lot of people immediately gravitate toward the story of St. Nicholas of Myra.  A somewhat legendary figure, St. Nicholas was reputed to have a “legendary habit” of secret gift-giving.  Nicholas was a said to be a Greek Christian in the Byzantine Empire and during lived in the 4th Century A.D.- three to four centuries before the Muslim conquest of the region.  However, some have argued that St. Nicholas was in fact born of wealthy ethnic Black Anatolian “Muurs.

But the origins of what became Santa Claus are in truth much older than that, and originated in a much colder place.  In many parts of pre-Christian Northern and Central Europe, the Winter Solstice was known as the time when Odin or Wotan- the white-bearded ruler of Asgard, led his hunting party across the sky.  Known as “The Wild Hunt”, Odin rode his eight-legged (eight reindeer) steed named Sleipnir, which would leap great distances across the heavens.  During this time, children would leave their boots by the chimney filled with carrots and hay to feed Sleipnir.  In return for their charity, “Odin” would leave the children gifts by their boots.
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This night of Odin’s “Wild Hunt” has a counterpart in what is known as Lussinatta, or “The Lussi Night” in Sweden.  This is now celebrated as St. Lucy’s Day and occurs on the 13th of December every year.  However, before the Gregorian Calendar shift, it would have fallen on December 21st– the night of the Winter Solstice.  Some legends suggest that a supernatural female entity was said to ride through the air with her fearsome followers called “Lussiferda” and that it was particularly dangerous to be out on this night.  Misbehaved children had to take special care as Lussi could come down the chimney and take them away, and if certain tasks needed to prepare for Yule were not completed, Lussi would punish the household.

The contrast between Odin who left gifts and Lussi who brought punishment has echoes of the later pair of St. Nicholas/Santa Claus and the Krampus.  Interestingly, some scholars link Krampus, as a member of the fearsome entourage of the ancient Germanic goddess Frau Perchta, who some connect with the ancient Norse goddess, Freya– one of the primary Vanir or old nature gods who some say ruled before the Aesir.

The inclusion of both the fearsome and the festive shows a deep understanding of the dualism inherent in nature that these ancient European peoples possessed- especially during this most perilous time of year.  On the one hand, we have the often harsh and brutal forces of nature during the cold winter months.  And on the other, we have the festive joy that comes from the promise of the return of the Sun.

But if we go even deeper and look at etymology and linguistics, we add another layer of sophistication.  Swedish stems from the Indo-European family of languages, if we sound out the name of Lussi and in particular, her Lussiferda, the name “Lucifer” might perhaps come to mind.  Lucifer, of course, stems from “lux ferre”, which in another Indo-European language, and that is Latin, literally means “light bringing”.  We perhaps see that these ancient Northern Europeans were pointing at how it was the oft-times terrifying darkness that carried the Light that brought life to the world.  This is true not only within Nature, but within the trials and tribulations of our own lives and our own being- the night is darkest before the dawn.  It is the darkness that brings the Light.

We see this deep understanding mirrored in in the Scandinavian Festival of St. Lucy where traditionally a procession is led by a beautiful young lady adorned with a crown or wreath of candles upon her head (although now this is being changed to be morepolitically correct”), bringing the promise of life-giving Light into the darkest night.

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PHOTO CREDIT CATHOLICCOMPANY.COM

The cold and brutal Northern European winter was a time that had the potential to bring starvation and death (and often did).  But with after the passing of the Solstice, the people knew that the days were slowly beginning to grow longer, and the life-giving Sun was growing stronger.

The Norse-Germanic festival of Yule was celebrated from right around the time of the Winter Solstice all the way through the second week in January.  This festival of feasting, drinking and sacrifice was a hallowed tradition among pre-Christian Northern European peoples to whom winter had a special significance that was not held among most others.  Yule was the tradition of a people who were close to the land and intimately tied into the cycles and processes of Nature.

The industrious elves/dwarves, the holly, the mistletoe, and the evergreens that have all become symbols of “Christmas” are all hallmarks of the culture and lore of Northern Europe.  The white of the pure, cleansing snow; the green of the evergreen tree- symbol of the magic of regenerative life; the red of the blood of the sacrifice and the folk; and the gold of the eternal undying Sun; these are the colors that are synonymous with “The Holidays” and they are inseparable from the unique folk consciousness and soul of the Northern European peoples.

These ancient “white” people were a very distinct culture with rich customs and traditions.  However, they would eventually find their culture usurped and altered at the point of a sword by invaders from the south and the east, as well as traitors within their own tribe.  Of course, what I am referring to is the spread of Christianity in Europe.

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Christianity moved in slowly at first, with the rather tolerant Northern European pagans accepting and in some cases even adopting the worship of this new “god”, seeing similarities between their deities of similar attributes.  This was commonplace during the old phase of the Roman Empire, where Celtic gods and Roman gods were often mixed and matched.  However, Rome began to use its wealth and influence to spread its influence, bribing local rulers and nobility, who in turn would use their military resources to impose the new religion on their people as well as neighboring tribes.

Another reason this new empire was so successful was that it also became adept at using more subtle tactics, such as co-opting the patron deities of various European peoples and turning them into Christian “saints”.  These figures would be attributed to various good deeds or miracles that made them similar to the deity the church wished to replace.  They would then proclaim the pagan festivals and holy days that used to belong to the old deity as now being a celebration and veneration of that saint.  This is more than likely what happened with figures like Saint Nicholas and Saint Lucy in Northern Europe.

By the end of the 14th century, the entirety of Europe had been converted to Christianity, and even after the split between the Eastern and Western church in 1054 AD, Rome would still control Europe and its people from the British Isles, to Scandinavia, all the way into Hungary and parts of Romania.  Through the church, Rome controlled the people not only through political means, but through the indoctrination of the people into a dogmatic belief system, it by proxy controlled their minds.

The conflict of the incoming Semitic Saturnian religion with that of the Indo-European Solar religion, has in many respects seemed to create a sort of neurosis in the European collective consciousness.  This is could be in part because this was not really an organic spirituality of the people based on their unique relationship to Nature and Spirit, but rather something that was foisted upon them, largely against their will.  This could also be because the totality of what was happening and is continuing to happen with these archetypal forces has not been fully understood and integrated.

stonehengewinterPHOTO COURTESY CRYSTALINKS.COM

THINK IMAGINATION

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Image Copyright Jim Warren

There are certain schools of esoteric thought that suggest that as man became more capable of independent thought, the trade-off was that our lifespan decreased, as this thinking process took vital energy.  This suggests that thinking was perhaps something intended to be used with focused intent and precision rather than something to be done haphazardly and non-stop.  Various spiritual traditions focus on training and quieting the mind in meditation, etc., with the goal of living our day-to-day in this state of quiet or even silent mind.

So, what is the point of it, this thinking business- particularly if we are of the perspective that things like belief systems and worldviews, which are byproducts of thinking, are ultimately unproductive?  I was asking that as I was walking outdoors the other night.  The answer that almost immediately came to me was one word- imagination.  Imagination is the ability to create with the mind.  Nothing human beings bring into the world (outside perhaps of procreation and other bodily things) can be made manifest without it first existing in the mind through active imagination.  The more vivid and focused the imagination, the greater potential for creation.  This is what I and many others understand being made in the image of the Creator means.

However, imagination is a tool, and can be used in constructive or destructive manners.  It can be used to create beauty and life, or ugliness and death.  As an artist, I cannot help but think of visual art, and the various trends that have happened throughout its history, and the state of “high art” now, which has become increasingly focused on the grotesque. Our world of modernity with all of its creations of degeneracy and death is the canvas many are now observing with a critical eye.

We are constantly receiving input into our senses and into our minds.  These things all have the potential to be used as elements in our creations.  This is perhaps where things like discernment and logic come in, where we validate whether what we are taking in is something that we need to or should use as elements in our creation.  All of this takes vigilance and mindfulness.

Often, many of us simply find ourselves reacting in the moment to what we take in through the senses.  Quick reaction is appropriate when we need to respond to actual physical danger, but most of the time, this is not happening.  We are reacting to what someone else has created rather than creating for ourselves.  It is through discipline and focus, which is most effectively attained by being “plugged in” to Source, is how I believe we can learn to align our imagination and will to create that which is aligned with Light, Life, and Love.  This is how we can create the New Heaven and the New Earth.

LET’S JUST CALL IT “CONSPIRACY THEORY”

“These stories are intricate and complicated — far more so than reality or official explanations”

  • University of Miami political science professor Joseph Uscinski

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As many have heard by now, major news outlets have reported that this past Sunday, a man by the name of Edgar Maddison Welch brought a pistol as well as an AR-15 assault rifle (there’s that evil gun again) to Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington DC.  Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident, while “official” reports state that Welch told police officers that he had “read online that the Comet restaurant was harboring child sex slaves and that he wanted to see for himself if they were there. He stated that he was armed to help rescue them. He surrendered peacefully when he found no evidence that underage children were being harbored in the restaurant.”

As bizarre as the whole scenario sounds on the surface, it has become a capstone in the new war on “fake news”- a talking point that began during the election and the growing concern over the movement behind Trump.  This was publicly addressed by President Obama and has been literally parroted by every major news outlet.  This narrative has been carried to the point of comprising a literal list of alleged “fake news” sites– which lists satire news sites like “The Onion” alongside anti-globalism news sites like “Infowars”.

CNN VS. “CONSPIRACY THEORIES” PART MCMLXV

The main target of this new campaign against “fake news” are what are labeled “conspiracy theories”.  Now this is a term that is thrown around A LOT.  In fact, CNN recently published an article online in response to the Comet Ping Pong incident entitled “Why people believe conspiracy theories like ‘pizza gate’”.  After outlining the incident, the article’s author, Gregory Krieg goes into what could best be described as an emotional mini-rant- something that is sadly more and more commonplace in supposed “real news” today:

The flourishes of the conspiracy theory pursued by Edgar Maddison Welch, a bogus and convoluted tale that casts Hillary Clinton and other top Democrats as the leaders of a child sex ring, are no more or less profane than so many others bouncing around the internet’s seedier corners.”

The article then taps social psychology (which is struggling with credibility) and political science (uuum, yeah…) professors who conclude that one of the main “problems” with the discernment of “real” and “fake” news has to do with the saturation of information since the revolution of the internet and then social media.  A major complaint in the campaign against “fake news” has been the ability for alleged “fake news” outlets to create the same sort of echo-chamber effect that mainstream media has had a monopoly on for the last several decades.

After lamenting about conspiracy theories “coming out of the closet”, so to speak, the CNN article moves into a sub-headline entitled “Preying on weakness and creating the ‘other’”, where Krieg begins with another horrendously biased mini-rant on supposed conspiracy theories:

The most prominent channels may change over the decades, but the insidious nature of the misinformation spreading these days is not fundamentally different from the lies peddled a half-century ago.”

Krieg then consults University of Utah history professor Bob Goldberg who describes these “conspiracy theories” as “an antidote to powerlessness because giving the responsibility, pointing the finger, targeting someone gives people a sense that they know what’s happening.”

After which, Krieg throws his summation in there stating, “Conspiracy theories tend to spring from those two prominent desires — creating a feeling of control where it doesn’t exist and defining an enemy where it is absent or difficult to define.

The article then moves on to portray “conspiracy theorists” as “bullying and hurtful” people who are “trying to silence the victims and survivors of horrendous tragedies”, according to Abby Clements, who claims to have been working as a second-grade teacher during the infamous Sandy Hook event.

The article refers to “pizza gate” as an “invention” to make what one can only glean from this article as the otherwise faultless Hillary Clinton and her associates as what Professor Goldberg refers to as “your enemy” and “the other“.

Professor Goldberg explains how this reasoning is used to elevate this “other” as someone “who has committed treason, someone who has betrayed the country,” deserving to be “punished”.  Because nothing ever came out that would have ever suggested that Hillary Clinton or her associates did anything that resembled treason…

The article closes by expressing the need for more effective “fact checkers” and cites the example of Lt. General Flynn- a supporter of Trump- committing a logical fallacy, which is ironic because the article was full of them, such as ad hominem and appeal to authority.

If anything, this article, with its periodic emotional rants and lamenting of “conspiracy theorists” as intolerant bullies who are trying to “silence” people is both a wonderful example of psychological projection and as well as a great snapshot of the sad creature mainstream journalism has become and why people are moving to supposed “fake news” sites for their information.  If anything, this article should be re-written and re-named as “Why people don’t believe CNN”.

WHAT IS A CONSPIRACY THEORY?

A conspiracy is defined as “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful”.

A conspiracy theory is defined as “an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy without warrant, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors. Conspiracy theories often produce hypotheses that contradict the prevailing understanding of history or simple facts. The term is a derogatory one.”

Note that the term is referred to as “derogatory”, which means a “critical or disrespectful attitude”.

A “conspiracy theorist” is defined as “a person who holds a theory that explains an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups

According to Florida State University professor Lance deHaven-Smith’s 2013 book “Conspiracy Theory in America”, the phrase conspiracy theory was deployed in the 1960s by the CIA to discredit people who questioned the official story around the JFK assassination, which was most famously questioned in the Oliver Stone film, “JFK”.  Now, this action in and of itself was technically illegal, as the CIA was not supposed to be operating domestically, although this was revealed to most certainly be the case with the Church Committee Hearings.  Of course, now, with the repeal of the propaganda ban back in 2013, government-created news is now legal, putting the U.S., led by the CIA, on par with the most esteemed journalism that was found in authoritarian paradises like the Soviet Union and East Germany.

Over the years, many things have been labelled “conspiracy theories” that were later revealed to be actual fact, such as La Cosa Nostra, the information in the Pentagon Papers, CIA drug running (Iran Contra), the Federal Reserve being run by private banking interests or the fact that the Bilderberg Meeting was an actual thing.  And while there are certainly wild ones out there literally based in outer space, the reality of people in high places meeting in secret and doing illegal and immoral things is a fact of history and a fact of life.

Does this mean there is one monolithic group out there running everything? No. The world is made up of groups of people who vie for their own interests, whatever they may be. Some are certainly more powerful and exert more control and influence than others, but that is the basis of it. And when said interests converge with that of other groups, these groups will often work together. The “goodness” or “badness” often lies in the fact that the interests of these groups are very different from what yours or mine may be- and sometimes that difference in interest means our own ability to thrive or even survive.

For example, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal was negotiated in secret by corporate boards and came out piece by piece that it was designed to strictly serve the interests of multinational corporations and override any laws that would stop it.  Now this can and should to be understood to be detrimental to large groups of people and the lands they inhabit.  However, if you are on the other side, this deal may be helping you provide what you see is a better life for yourself and people you care about- even if that’s a relatively small number of people.  And knowing that people may attempt to derail the deal that is beneficial for you and your group, obviously operating in secret is the best way to go.

These things aren’t “conspiracy theory”- they are the machinations of history and human nature, as well as business.  This is how the world of men works, and will continue to until something beyond what we have ever seen or known happens.

DANGEROUS INFORMATION

In regards to “Pizza gate”, I must admit that I have intentionally been keeping from reading or listening to much about it because I find the topic of child sex trafficking extremely upsetting.  However, the sad fact is that the rich and powerful been caught involved in pedophilia and sex-trafficking numerous times over the years.

Most have already forgot about Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney grilling Donald Rumsfeld over major arms manufacturers like DynCorp being involved in sex trafficking or the numerous accounts of child sex abuse in the entertainment industry.

While it is certainly true that people will make loose correlations to explain things, it is also true that they will want to explain away that which makes them very, very uncomfortable. And if the idea of the people we have placed on pedestals as being the leaders of culture and society does not make you very, very uncomfortable, then I don’t know what does.

Now I don’t know the full story around Edgar Maddison Welch, other than the fact he was/is an actor and that he has served to shift some public focus away from stories of high crimes within the DC beltway elite and shift it toward the “dangers” of “fake news”.  As a rule, I am always skeptical when it comes to these “shooter” stories- especially when they occur at politically convenient times.

The mainstream media has been caught lying and spreading misinformation over and over and over (remember those weapons of mass destruction?), making this whole “fake news” campaign extremely ironic.  And while they lament against those who believe in “conspiracy theories” that target the favored sons and daughters of DC, they push their own conspiracy theory around Russian influence and intrigue to the point where the House of Representatives have quietly passed a bill to counter Russian “fake news” and its “reporters”.  Many of the accused Russian fake news agents are American Alt-Right and anti-globalism outlets.

Meanwhile mainstream pundits are calling for a sort of re-education in order to combat this “fake news” and counteract its “goal” according to CNN, which is to “erode trust in mainstream media, public figures, government institutions”- which of course has not happened organically due to said figures and institutions being caught lying and obfuscating repeatedly.

All of this should have anyone who believes in free speech a bit worried.

Regardless, let’s say we take the story of Comet Ping Pong gunman incident for absolute truth.  The real problem then is not “conspiracy theories”, but how people take and handle information- any information they receive.  This then becomes a larger issue of emotional maturity and grounded-ness, stemming from living in a society that has veered far from any sort of basis in nature and nurture of true human nature as well as potential.  These are not problems that can be resolved by censorship and corporate government strong-arming

Three years ago, the shooter who opened fire at a conservative lobbying group, Floyd Lee Corkins, cited his reasoning as being that they were on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group watch list, which is accepted by many people to be a “legitimate” source of information.

The reality is that there will always be unbalanced people out there, but strictly using guilt by association to discredit a stream or source of information, whatever that may be, is error.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In response to the aforementioned CNN article, my teacher and mentor wrote the following:

We need to develop true discernment and not knee-jerk react to postings that titillate or support our biases. All of us on every side of every issue!

People are instinctively drawn to whatever supports the worldview and belief system they hold, and deem “un-credible” that which does not. That is human psychology and human nature.  However, worldviews can be expanded, but that can only happen from within the individual.

I traversed the political landscape personally and professionally over the years, and in so doing, I learned how to take truth and commonalities from news and articles from the gamut of sources- Democrat, Socialist, Libertarian, Anarchist, Christian Conservative, mainline Republican, Alt-Right, Ethno-Nationalist, and a whole slew of “conspiracy” sites.  No one perspective or political ideology has a monopoly on truth- or falsehood.  This is yet another application of “separating the wheat from the chaff”.

Now I understand that this can be hard for a lot of people, as our attachment to various fears, beliefs, and identities can prevent us from hearing or reading what seems to be diametrically opposed to what we may have been taught is “good” and “true”.  But black and white thinking is not a strength, and all things have positive and negative within them.  Ignoring and writing off information as complete lies and BS simply based on the source is error- this is even true when it comes from the mainstream media.  What typically is presented is not so simple as truth or lies, it is quite often a mixture of the two.

But regardless of all that, while we need true full-spectrum discernment and use of critical thinking, it is perhaps even more crucial that we maintain control of the emotional reactions that we may have to what we read or hear.  We cannot control what anyone says or does, but we can and must learn to control our own actions.  True freedom requires that we act rather than re-act.  In order to do this we must learn how to stay centered in Self/Higher Power, or at least learn how to move to that place as quickly as possible.

We are living in exciting and tumultuous times now, so it is more important than ever that we stay grounded in the reality of Nature and Creation, and that Ultimate Reality that exists beyond all of it.  Let us have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Namaste and God Bless.

“THE MASK YOU LIVE IN”- A Feminist’s Guide to Being a Man

“Everyone deserves to feel whole. And each of us can do our part in expanding what it means to be a man for ourselves and the boys in our lives.”

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Photo copyright Jennifer Newsom and The Representation Project

I recently sat down and watched the documentary “The Mask You Live In”- a film that was written and directed by filmmaker and actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom (who also happens to be the wife of the Lieutenant Governor of California). Newsom is also the creator of the film “Miss Representation”, which examines how the media have supposedly contributed to the under-representation of women in positions of power. Her latest film “The Mask You Live In”, is billed as being about “the struggle men and boys have while negotiating American society’s narrow definition of masculinity”.

I had heard about the film for a little while and knew it had mixed reviews, with the guys over at The ManKind Project giving it a “thumbs up”, while the guys over at The Pressure Project gave it a “thumbs down”. As these are both groups that I have a great deal of respect for, I decided to check out the movie for myself.

THE GOOD:

“The way boys are brought up makes them hide all of their natural, vulnerable, and empathic feelings behind a mask of masculinity.”

The film opens with former NFL player and football coach, Joe Ehrmann reflecting on a memory of him being five years old and his father bringing him into the basement to teach him how to fight, telling him he could not cry and he had to “be a man”. He then tells how he spent the rest of his life attempting to prove to his father that he was just that.

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NFL Logo Copyright the National Football League

One of the primary focuses of the film has to do with how boys are taught from very early on that they need to disconnect from our emotions and that any emotion other than anger is not “manly”. We are given the stories and narratives of a handful of young men who speak about how they were taught as children what they needed to do to “fit in” with various male peer groups throughout their years in elementary school, and then high school. One of the characters, a former athlete-turned-thespian named Ian, describes this process:

School was a training ground for me to learn how to perform masculinity; to perform to be one of the guys.”

The idea of feeling the need to “perform”; to put on some kind of act, in order to be accepted by one male peer group or another is something that strongly resonated with my schooling experience. Whether it was joining a sports team when I was not at all athletic or into sports; bullying certain kids who were “lower” on the school social hierarchy; smoking weed and hanging out with guys I didn’t really trust; or distancing myself from friends who were not part of the “cool crowd”- I did all kinds of things and compromised my integrity in many ways for the sole purpose of being “accepted” by one group of guys or another.

Likewise, as was reflected in the film narrative, I learned that men never cry or show emotion or empathy. At first it was described as something that girls and “sissies” did, and later, it was something that was “gay”- all of which were things that as a boy, you did not want to be labelled as.

This is also echoed in the film as it speaks on bullying of children who are “different”. This too resonated with me, as being someone who was more on the “creative” and “sensitive” side (as well as the chubby side due to being allowed to eat poorly and be lazy), I often found myself the target of moderate bullying. However, my remedy for this was often to try to “get in” with the bullies by being one myself.

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Photo courtesy of The Representation Project

The film speaks to how there is a dominance hierarchy in these male social circles, which as stated, can lead to bullying, which in turn can cause the one being targeted to feel helpless, and with the stigma towards males expressing emotion and reaching out, causes the boy to internalize everything, leading to depression and in extreme cases, suicide. In American boys, suicide is the third leading cause of death, with boys between 10-14 having three times the suicide rate as girls, which jumps to five times the rate in boys ages 15-19, and then skyrockets to 7 times the suicide rate in young men between 20-24.

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Several of the boys and young men interviewed speak of a life of feeling alone and isolated. Some of these young men reached to drinking and drugs as a gateway to bonding and letting down barriers they felt they were forced to keep up at all other times for their own emotional (and sometimes physical) protection. Some even reached out into gang culture as a way to somehow find that “bond” with other men that they so desperately craved.

This desperate craving for male companionship was often due to the physical and/or emotional abandonment by their fathers (something referred to as the “father wound). This is another “wound” I resonate with, as my father was not overly involved with me for most of my life. My story is not as cut-and-dry as a “deadbeat dad” story, but the effects of not having a present and involved father-figure during my adolescent years certainly effected me negatively nonetheless.

There is indeed a crisis among our boys, and the film points to the portrayal of men and masculinity in culture and the media and the expectations set up around them as the primary culprit. A group of San Quentin prisoners who form a men’s support group of “lifers” are featured in the film, and in one scene the group makes a list of some of characteristics that they grew up believing made a man a man. These traits included showing no emotion, using violence to solve problems, being able to dominate others, being a womanizer, and “never backing down”.

The film then again directs us to Joe Ehrmann who refers to the “lies of masculinity”, which is the notion that masculinity is defined by the following three things:

  1. Athletic and Physical Prowess and Physique
  2. Economic Success and Money
  3. Sexual Conquest

This was another point that I highly resonated with. I remember points during my twenties especially, when I was obsessed with developing my physique, and even more so with sexual conquest, as that more than anything else, defined what was “a man” to me (which was/is total bullshit). Meanwhile, the specter of economic success consistently eluded me, creating feelings of deep insecurity and a sense of personal failure.

The film goes on to talk about the specific “masculine (shadow) archetypes” portrayed in the modern media that glorify dominance and aggression: the strong silent antihero type (who uses violence to get what he wants); the superhero; the thug (typically a “person of color”); and the man-child/frat-boy type (who obsesses over sexual conquest). We are then rightly told about how media influences culture, as media images and themes have been proven to affect people’s behavior.

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We are also told how not only film and television, but video games and pornography are shaping the modern male mind. Again, both of these things are true. A statistic given is that 31% of males feel “addicted” to video games. Likewise, the increasing brutality and violence of video games and perpetual exposure to them has been shown to create a desensitization effect. There is a reason why first-person shooters originated as, and continue to be used as training exercises for soldiers.

Similarly, internet pornography is increasingly pandemic among young men, with the seemingly unending supply of novelty and stimulation. Internet pornography has destroyed many young men’s capacity for intimacy, and both porn and video games has helped foster a state of ever-increasing isolation among many. Like video games, use of internet pornography can be extremely habit-forming and virulently addictive in a similar way that gambling or food can be (although the film does not mention this), and has become an epidemic among a generation of increasingly lonely and isolated men.

One of the highlights of the film is the emphasis on the need for male support groups and mentorship. The film shows several examples of young men being involved in various mentoring programs and male support groups, while stressing the need to create a space where bonds can be formed, support can be given, and trust can be established. Forming this sort of container allows men to be authentic and vulnerable and work through challenging emotions in a healthy and empowering way, and as a result, fosters strength, which serves their “tribe”. The “circle of men” is a key component for the creation and maintenance of true tribe and brotherhood, and is something that many, many men, young and old, do not have.

One of the interviewees states, “Our boys are yearning for help; yearning for guidance and mentorship and leadership.

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Photo courtesy of The Representation Project

Without true mentors and brothers, many young men are going out and defining these concepts of masculinity and tribe/brotherhood for themselves- and often with disastrous consequences. There is a deep need for brotherhood and a place for authentic interaction among men that is missing in modern society, and to its credit, “Mask” recognizes this.

The ability to become emotionally literate is something that has been taken from modern men and at a great price. The authentic bonding of the family and the tribe has slowly been eroded by modernity. The great archetypes and symbols that men once worked with and used to define and describe the internal life from a place of power, have all but disappeared from modern consciousness. The great initiations where boys learned to become men have been reduced to mere shells of what they once were, if they even exist at all.

Thankfully, there are groups out there that are working to once again provide a place for men to move into a place of authenticity and openness within a tribe of trusted brothers, and a manner for men to once again discover the true depth of masculinity and the male experience. The ManKind Project is one such group that is near and dear to me, but there are many others, and I encourage any man reading to look into them if they have not already.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD:

“Masculinity is not organic, it’s reactive. It’s not something that just develops. It’s a rejection of everything that is feminine.”

Dr. Caroline Heldman; Associate Professor of Political Science at Occidental College

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – APRIL 23: Journalist Maria Shriver and director Jennifer Siebel Newsom attend as Brooks Brothers hosts ìThe Mask You Live Inî premiere after party at Brooks Brothers Rodeo Drive on April 23, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Brooks Brothers) *** Local Caption *** Maria Shriver;Jennifer Siebel Newsom

One of the first “red flags” for me occurred during the opening credits of the documentary when I saw the list of who it was that created this film about the world of young men and “masculinity” in America:

Writer, Director, and Producer: Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Writer, Producer, and Film Editor: Jessica Congdon

Producer: Jessica Anthony

Associate Producer: Dani Fishman

Executive Producers: Maria Shriver, Abigail Disney, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Sarah E. Johnson, Regina Kulik Scully, Wendy Schmidt

Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture? We have a documentary about men and masculinity produced entirely by women. Putting things in perspective here, can we honestly say that in this day and age a film about young women and “femininity” is a venture that could be taken up by an all-male production team and have any sort of real credibility? Furthermore, is it a subject that a group of men should attempt to tackle? Is a man or a group of men really capable of exploring the true depth of the experience of being a woman? Probably not. That being said, how could the reverse situation, which is this film, hope to escape the same fate? It can’t and it doesn’t. Even if these women have sons of their own, they will never experience being their sons (or any of the other men in their lives), and that makes a BIG difference with a project like this.

The perspective of the filmmakers is unavoidable, and for that effect the film itself becomes in large part a critique of men and masculinity in the context of how they relate to women and the feminine- not a real in-depth look at masculinity in and of itself. While there are points where some real light shines through, and the filmmakers may have had the best of intentions, unfortunately this “light” is somewhat dimmed by the persistent and obvious focus of the filmmakers in the belief of the perpetual victim status of women in America.

The film’s focus on women being faultless victims of American men leaves one with the impression that much of the “concern” for men this film professes to have, is in large part based in the filmmakers’ own group self-interest as women, and not out of a genuine concern for the suffering of men in and of itself. The filmmakers seek to see men’s behavior change for the primary purpose of benefiting women (particularly those of a neo-feminist persuasion), not men.

To sum it up, any “concern” the film claims to have for boys and men comes off as largely disingenuous, and in truth just seems to simply be looking for a new solution for the age-old problem of how to make men “behave properly” and “feel correctly” in order to tame and train them to not be “a threat” to whomever is looking to gain power at their expense.

One of the first “experts” interviewed in the film is Dr. Michael Kimmel, who speaks of how the idea of proving strength and masculinity to other males is something that starts in early boyhood. Kimmel laments about how boys having to prove to other boys that they’re “not girls” does not give young boys a way to feel secure in their own masculinity.

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Image courtesy of wakeupproject.com.au

Dr. Kimmel is featured fairly frequently throughout the film, and is a self-described “male feminist” who sees the ideology of feminism as a part of his moral compass, operating in place of spirituality or religion (Kimmel and his family are secular Jews). Dr. Kimmel is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University and author of books like “Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men” and “Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era”.

Dr. Kimmel is also a founder of the “Men’s Studies” division of Gender Studies, and is Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University. Men’s Studies focuses on the idea of “male privilege” and challenging traditional male roles. Kimmel formed this in response to the Men’s Rights Movement that was itself a reaction to Second and Third Wave Feminism and the imposition of its ideals on men.

Kimmel analyzes feelings of disenfranchisement and anger in men (particularly white men), as feelings of lost entitlement which are resulting in mass murder, mass misogynist violence and the overall setback of the advancement of culture. Kimmel feels action is needed to move men into a more “equalitarian” future.

Other “experts” like Jewish-American educator, advocate, “anti-violence” expert, and producer of the film “Tough Guise”, Dr. Jackson Katz, echo Kimmel’s sentiments on a need for a cultural redefining of masculinity. Dr. Katz is the creator of a gender violence prevention and education program entitled “Mentors in Violence Prevention”.

Katz advocates the bystander approach to gender violence and bullying prevention. Instead of focusing on women as victims and men as perpetrators of harassment, abuse or violence, the bystander approach concentrates on the role of peers in schools, groups, teams, workplaces and other social units.

However, like Dr. Kimmel, Dr. Katz’s male “advocacy” operates under the assumption that the interests and goals of second and third wave feminism are completely congruent with the best interests of western men, which is an incredibly tenuous assumption to say the least. Similarly, Dr. Katz’s overarching stance in much of his work is firmly entrenched in Critical Theory, with its obsessive focus on not “reinforce(ing) the dominant position of white masculinity in the race/gender system.”

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One of the fundamental underlying premises of the film is the theory that gender (or at least masculinity) is a purely social construct. This is alliterated by Jewish-American professor Dr. Caroline Heldman, (who was quoted in the beginning of this section) and appears to be “backed up” by science with the opinion of neuroscientist Dr. Lise Eliot, who states that “Throughout most of history there’s been this belief that men and women are fundamentally different creatures… that probably begins with the Bible… Sex is a biological term that refers to what chromosomes you have… Gender is a social construct.”

The notion of gender, and masculinity in particular, as not being “a real thing” is based on the changing specifics of the roles men play and have played from culture to culture, due to differences in economics, religion, resources, technological advancement, climate, historical factors and numerous cultural idiosyncrasies and influences. However, this notion of male social roles becomes a misrepresentation when it is applied as a universal for everything except chromosomes and genitalia. In truth, there are indeed certain “universals” that have always been present in human male populations across cultures and across time such as but not limited to:

  • Males engaging in more coalitional violence.
  • Males tending to be more aggressive.
  • Males being more prone to lethal violence.
  • Males being more prone to theft.
  • Males, on average, travelling greater distances over their lifetime

This also parallels with the characteristics of other mammal males where the need to compete for sexual selection is high. These characteristics include:

  • Males will tend to be larger than females.
  • Males will tend to die younger for physiological reasons than will females.
  • Males will tend to engage in more risky activities in the context of acquiring mates than females.
  • Males will tend to have higher mortality than females as a result of external factors, such as combat, disease, and accidents.
  • Males will tend to exhibit more general aggression than females.
  • Males will tend to engage in escalating violent aggression that leads to injury and/or death.
  • Pre-adult males will tend to engage in more competitive and aggressive play than pre-adult females.
  • Males will be less discriminating about and more eager to procreate with females than vice-versa.

Many of these are the very characteristics that the film and Critical Theory argue are purely “social constructs” that can somehow be “unlearned”. If this were indeed true, then why do these masculine/male traits appear not only repeat themselves across different cultures and different periods in history, but across different species? Not only that, if these things are so universally distributed, making them truly a property of nature rather than society, would it not be supreme arrogance to believe that somehow it was nature that “got it wrong”, and we’re going to “fix it”?

The idea of gender as a “social construct” is actually fairly recent, and has its origins in the early twentieth century with Neo-Marxist Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School. Critical Theory now saturates the Humanities Departments in most western colleges and universities, and has made its way into the majority of high school and even elementary school curricula in some form or fashion.

The concept of Critical Theory is comprised of two basic components: First, is that society is organized into oppressors and the oppressed, with the “oppressors” typically being straight “cisgender” men, with white men sitting tenuously at the very top of as rulers; while a victim hierarchy structure exists beneath them composed of women, “people of color”, LGBTQ, Jews, Muslims, etc. Second, is the belief that this system must somehow be upended through a “revolutionary” transformation of western culture via academia, media, religion, politics, which will result in the fundamental transformation of western society as a whole.

It should also be understood that this whole notion of victimhood and victim hierarchy as professed by Critical Theory is completely incongruent with self-reliance and accountability, which form the backbone of true self-empowerment, which is what movements that espouse to Critical Theory, like feminism, profess to be about. You cannot claim power over your situation without claiming some responsibility for it. Victims can’t have power, or else they wouldn’t be victims.

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We also find sprinkled throughout the film, various references to popular Critical Theory topics like “White Privilege”, “Male Privilege”, as well as the “oppression” of people of color. This is subtly hinted at through the hot-button issue of illegal immigration, with some focus on the story of a young man who laments over his absentee father being deported back to Mexico, causing him to be even less involved in his life than he already was.

As stated earlier, the film also addresses the issues with media stereotypes and the problem of pornography saturating the internet. However, instead of taking a deep look at how pornography can be addictive and truly destructive to men in multiple aspects of their lives, the film instead chooses to focus on the narrative of “rape culture”. In regards to porn, the main problem “Mask” sees is not so much the severe internal damage it causes to men in relationship to themselves, but rather how it supposedly causes them to act towards women in a predatory and even violent fashion. Again, it was the way men interacted with women that was seen as the most important issue.

It was at this point where we see Dr. Jackson Katz declare that “We (as in the United States) have a rape culture. What that means is that individual rapists are crawling out of the swamps… being produced by our culture.

The fallacies of claiming that there is a “rape culture” originating in the U.S. or any other western country, that is being led by “misogynist white males” are manifold. This narrative is a creation of Critical Theory, Third Wave Feminism, and the media, and is a subject dense enough for an article in and of itself. That being said, I will leave the topic at this point with two words: taharrush and bullshit.

After addressing “rape culture”, we move to violence culture, where we are told that “gender is the single most important factor” as to why men are the primary perpetrators of “mass shootings” (remember, we were also told that gender is a social construct). Now, moving beyond the sensationalist government and media creations that were the stories of Adam Lanza and James Holmes, there is again more to the story than the perpetuated existence of “violent, dominant hyper-masculinity” that the film would have you believe is the root of all evil.

Regardless of its faults, “The Mask You Live In”, has had enough financial backing and support to be packaged as an “educational film”, with some schools even beginning to include it as part of their curriculum (complete with accompanying text and teaching materials). This material is put out through Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s “Representation Project”- a nonprofit that was launched after the success of “Miss Representation”; whose board members include U.S. Democratic strategist and spokesman for the Golden State Warriors and for the Super Bowl 50 host committee, Nathan Ballard. Interestingly, Ballard is also a former spokesperson for Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom (Jennifer’s husband), and a former spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, Secretary of State John Kerry, and former NATO Supreme Commander Wesley Clark.

The Representation Project “inspires individuals and communities to create a world free of limiting stereotypes and social injustices” and “(Use) film as a catalyst for cultural transformation, The Representation Project inspires individuals and communities to challenge and overcome limiting stereotypes so that everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, or circumstance, can fulfill their human potential.”

CONCLUSION:

“I think we need to get away from calling weak men ‘women’… I think we need to stop making the woman the opposite end of the spectrum of masculinity… We’re not really saying, ‘He’s not a man, he’s a woman’; we’re saying, ‘He’s not strong, he’s weak’.”

  • Justin “Master Chim” Garcia

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Photo courtesy of The Pressure Project

The Mask You Live In”, while making some valid points particularly when it comes to the need for men to be able to express emotion in a healthy manner and have support around doing so, falls victim to its belief in a simplistic caricature of masculinity. This caricature of masculinity has in and of itself been largely created by a modernized society that has progressively alienated and displaced what men are in their fullness. Each subsequent generation has moved further and further away from what this is.

The version of masculinity that is portrayed in the film is what should be referred to as “shadow masculinity”. This is an incomplete and imbalanced form of masculinity. Moreover, this is very much an immature form of masculinity- the masculinity of boys who never became men.

Contrary to the beliefs of folks like Dr. Caroline Heldman and other “critical theorists”, masculinity is the very real thing that has created society, not the other way round. The masculine impulse is the progenitor impulse; the drive to create and to build; to extend oneself outwards into the world.

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The masculine man is also the traditional protector of the tribe; the one with the tough physical exterior that complements the woman’s tough physical interior. It was always the men the formed the perimeter to protect the interior- the women and the children; from predators and invaders. It was the men that understood they would need to be fit to defend and in many cases, die, in order to protect the ability of the tribe to carry on through the women and children.

In this respect, it is hard-wired into men to seek out and foster strength in other members of “the tribe”, as it is for men to seek to gain the respect and approval of other men in the tribe. Again, these are things that are hard-wired into us, and in a natural environment, they are healthy and play a vital role in the development and maintenance of healthy masculinity. The drive to “toughen” other men up comes from this. However, without proper guidance and initiation from “tribal elders”, this toughening-up process in its immature form can turn into bullying, and becomes destructive rather than productive.

This need for strength and control/discipline also flows over into the area of emotion and the need for men to have emotional strength and control so we aren’t emotionally “leaking” all over the place, putting ourselves and others at risk during times of crisis and real threat when we need to keep our wits about us. Again, due to lack of proper guidance and initiation, we have mistakenly come to equate emotional control with emotional suppression.

The real problem here is that we are far, far away from anything close to a “natural environment”, and this artifice of modernity seems to have severely affected men to a degree that really is not being talked about in this film, or in general. There is a perverse domestication process that is happening in modern society that is breeding a form of psychosis in men (as well as women), as we become increasingly separated from the natural rhythms of life. In some cases, this psychosis is repressed and regressive, and in others, it’s violent and virulent.

To add to this problem, there is a real belief that these natural hard-wired traits in men are something that can just be culturally “reprogrammed” or “overridden”. This theory is a severe fallacy, and has led to much of the sorts of violent outbursts and general hopeless despair that the makers of the film wish to remedy. We can’t just “reprogram” men and think everything will work out. We need to get to the root of the wound, which with the nature of this modern society, can be multiple.

Here in the United States, we still begin many of our young men’s lives with the very unnatural and unnecessary process of institutionalized male genital mutilation or “circumcision”. There has been a great deal of study done on infant circumcision and infant trauma, and it has been found that the procedure can and will have a deep traumatic impact on the child that will effect a wide range of development issues including, but not limited to his ability to express emotion, empathy and intimacy. There is a saying in the anti-circumcision community that those men who have been cut will “cut” in return. It has been widely concluded that due to the stage of development of the child when the trauma occurs, infant trauma is the hardest to thoroughly move past.

We then move on to the schooling or “education” of boys. The system of government education that we subscribe to is probably one of the most un-natural and perverse systems we can put a child into. A great deal of the film goes into statistics about boys in school such as the fact that boys are more likely to be in special education, be diagnosed with ADHD, flunk or drop out, be suspended, or be expelled. The film puts a great deal of stress put on what can be done to somehow make these boys perform better in school. However, the film lacks either the insight or perhaps the courage to state that just maybe the problem isn’t the boys, but the institution they are being forced to attend. Likewise, the brutal hierarchies that develop in the schooling system are not typically present in home-schoolers or tribal societies.

In addition, the psychotropic medication of boys in particular, which is occurring at increasingly young age, is not even addressed in this film. The natural rambunctiousness and risk-taking nature of boys and young men is seen as a “disease” by modern psychiatric “medicine” and the modern education system. As a result American boys are being medicated with a cocktail of psychoactive chemicals, producing a host of incredibly harmful and dangerous results for themselves and others around them. Once again, not a peep about this from the producers of this film.

As far as the media is concerned, there is no doubt that the Hollywood/Madison Avenue culture has imposed a toxic artifice on us and poisoned our view of the world. However, we would do well to understand that this world of fantasy and its distorted, childish views of masculinity was created in large part to distract and pacify men. It was developed as a way of seducing men to buy into a life where they sell out their true masculine birthrights as sovereign and virile builders of culture and civilization for the pleasures and comforts of modernity and a mediocre existence.

The problem isn’t with any sort of “hyper-masculinity”, or men being aggressive and dominant and competitive- these are fundamental components of masculinity in its wholeness. The problem is that these qualities aren’t the complete picture of masculinity in its wholeness. We need to be able to take on and embody ALL of the masculine archetypes: Warrior, Magician, Lover, and King– and in their wholeness. The problem is that we don’t have a society that understands or facilitates this kind of holistic development in men.

Another problem is also that we are told that we either have the option of embodying this shadow masculinity or embodying the persona of the castrated “masculine feminist”. Personally, I reject both of these. I also find Joe Ehrmann’s statement in the film, “‘Be a man’ is one of the most destructive phrases in this culture” to be destructive in and of itself, and reminds me of my jaded single mother telling me to “Never grow up to be a man” (a phrase other friends who had single mothers heard). We have an epidemic of men who have been raised by women and have been made to feel guilty about being men, causing them to act in a manner that is weak and emotionally castrated. This needs to stop.

Lastly, the big problem here is that the society that has been created here in the western world in the last century, and is continuing to be constructed in the age of globalism and “political correctness”, is not one that is conducive to any sort of healthy masculinity at all whatsoever. It is one that leaves us as neurotic and destructive children seeking out the initiation into true manhood that we never were allowed. And to paraphrase an old African tribal saying, “If we do not initiate the young men, they will burn the village down.

What we need is a return to tribe. We need to get back to the natural rhythms of ourselves and of nature. We need to return to real brotherhood and purpose. We need strength- not just physical strength, but mental, emotional and spiritual strength. We need real initiation and ritual. We need to understand and work with the archetypes that define us.

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Photo courtesy of Wolves of Vinland/Wolves of Cascadia

True masculinity has always been the greatest threat to any established order or any outside group seeking dominance over a tribe. This is why such focus is placed on controlling men- making sure that men “behave” and “fall-in-line” in a subservient fashion. It is this sort of docile, domesticated, and castrated masculinity that we in the SSH wish to wash our hands of. However, these things cannot happen if we are fully invested in the artifice that does little more that suck our life energy and leave us as neurotic shells of what we could be. It’s time we find the strength to discard these illusions and distractions, so we can build something new.

Namaste and God Bless.

Additional Reading:

“Masculinity Is More Than a Mask” by Christina Hoff Summers

The Four Jungian Masculine Archetypes

*IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ, SUPPORT THE AUTHOR BY PICKING UP YOUR LIMITED EDITION LIGHTNING WARRIOR "CONQUER OR DIE" T-SHIRT HERE*

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THE LAW OF “RIGHT” AND “WRONG”

“So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”

― Ernest Hemingway, “Death in the Afternoon”

Right Versus Wrong

The concept of morality and the idea of what is “right” and what is “wrong” have been the subject of hours of rigorous debate and volumes of religious, philosophical and legal text.  Generally, these ideas of morality tend to vary from culture to culture, and oftentimes the variance is quite pronounced.

From The Code of Hammurabi, to The Ten Commandments, to The Nine Noble Virtues, to the Koran, to the writings of Confucius, to the writings of Plato, to the Magna Carta, to the U.S. Constitution, this notion of the “law” of right and wrong has been a part of human society for millennia.

For a long time here in the West, there were generally codes of morality that were culturally ingrained in those of European descent over many generations.  Even in the “colonies”, while some variance existed, particularly here in the United States with our unique culture of freedom that made us somewhat different from the “Old World”, we still shared much of the same basic values that were inherent to the rest of Europe.  These were values that were not just the product of European Christendom, but were rooted in Europe’s ancient pagan past as well.

The spread of Western culture (or at least a shadow version of it) across the world through colonialism, imperialism, global corporate consumerism, Hollywood, and the spread of “democracy” led to a misleading feedback loop.  Over time and generations, this feedback loop caused the inhabitants of the West, particularly those of European descent, to believe that most people, regardless of culture or ethnicity, held the same basic fundamental values of “right” and “wrong” that they did.

However, as mass migration begins to change the demographics of the West, people of European descent are quickly beginning to realize that this is definitely NOT the case.  The peoples of the non-Western nations in many cases have radically codes of morality than those subscribed to by men and women of European descent.  This has in many cases created a power-struggle between competing and by a large degree of measure, incompatible cultural ideologies.

Meanwhile, the traditional values and morals of the West have slowly begun to shift and break down with the rise of Modernist and Postmodernist philosophy and Cultural Marxism.  This has led to an internal struggle, as solipsism and  moral relativism along with an air of resentful hostility towards what had been the traditional values until the various “cultural revolutions” slowly gained steam through academia and the media.

These revolutions were/are concerned with creating a sort of utopia of equality for the disenfranchised, while at the same time demoting the “oppressor class” (middle-to-upper income white males) by taking over and tearing down “his” institutions.  In summation, the political Left has sought to tear down “racist and intolerant” traditionalism, and completely invert the old social norms, with the hopes of creating a sort of politically correct hedonist commune.

On the opposite side of all of this, there is a hardline movement on what would be considered the political Right that is arguably just as morally relativistic.  Following the writings and philosophies of men like Frederich Nietzsche, Ragnar Redbeard, and Adolf Hitler, there is what could be described as the “Might is Right” movement taking place on the Right in reaction to what is seen as a culture of weakness and victimhood being promoted by the Left.  This movement promotes a sort of “hyper-masculinity” and applies a “survival of the fittest” philosophy to human affairs, stating that attempts to artificially create across-the-board “equality” in human (specifically Western) society is an aberration of nature and fundamentally impossible.

The Might is Right movement scowls at Cultural Marxism’s attempt to create a rule of the disenfranchised.  They see the disenfranchised as life’s losers, who “lost” because they are weak- mentally, physically and/or emotionally.  They do not believe that the weak “shall inherit the Earth”, but rather that the weak should either serve the strong or get out of their way- lest they be crushed.

So all that being said, is there any sort of “universal” code of morality that supersedes the inconsistencies and incongruities between the philosophies and ideologies of different races, ethnicities and cultures?

Many might point to the law of government as being that universal code.  After all, we are taught from the time we are very young that the “law-abiding citizen” is the paragon of moral virtue.  However, the problem with government law is that it is not universal or consistent, and oftentimes will even contradict itself.  A terrorist in one nation is a hero in another.  Similarly, many of those seen as “patriots” and “revolutionaries” were at one time seen as criminals.

Law is not a constant standard either.  What was once illegal and therefore “wrong”, can be made legal and thereby “morally acceptable” with a few strokes of a pen, as was the case with alcohol prohibition in the U.S.  Even the legal documents that are meant to provide the rule of law for a nation (i.e. the U.S. Constitution) will have loopholes and inconsistencies that allow the laws contained within to be interpreted so broadly and loosely that the become essentially meaningless.

So if the “law of the land” is completely subjective and the cultural definitions of morality vary from people to people to such an order of magnitude, can we thereby assume that there is no such thing as a universal definition of right and wrong?  Absolutely not.

A while back I said that spiritual growth and development is THE point of human existence here on Earth.  Period.  Now the specifics of what that looks like or what that entails will inevitably vary, but that simple fact remains- we are here to evolve as spiritual beings while in a physical form.

This brings us to our question of what is right and wrong, and the answer is really simple:

What is right is whatever accelerates spiritual growth and development.  What is wrong is whatever retards spiritual growth and development.

Now that may seem pretty vague and nebulous to some folks, so let me explain.

Spiritual growth and development is achieved by strengthening and expanding the capacity of the Mind, Heart and Will (action) centers of our being while developing a relationship with the God-Self within- our internal Sun; with the goal of eventually transcending the limitations of physical matter.  This can be done in a variety of ways and the paths to spiritual attainment are as numerous as there are people on this Earth.

On this Earth there are certain Laws that exist and function on all levels of existence.  These are things like the Law of Manifestation and the Law of Cause and Effect, i.e. “Karma”.  They are also the various Principles of the Natural World that govern how our bodies (physical body, mental body, emotional body, psychic body, spiritual body, etc.) function.  It is through properly understanding and properly utilizing these Laws and Principles that allows us to function optimally, enabling us to grow and evolve as beings.

And just as there are numerous methods for achieving and accelerating spiritual growth and development, there are even more ways to slow it down.  This is where moral relativism and cultural differences on morality become neutralized.

It does not matter if you live in a culture where rape and torture is seen as acceptable in some capacity or another.  When you violate the free will of another being, negative Karmic ramifications will come back on you individually and the tribe collectively.  These consequences will serve to ultimately slow down spiritual growth and development.  It doesn’t matter if you believe you were right or not.  It does not matter if it was in some “holy book” or whether you were ordered to do it by whatever authority you serve.  You will reap what you sow.

Now are there ways around feeling the direct effects of Karma?  Sure.  One of the most tried-and-true ways has always been getting others to do your dirty work for you.  The unquestioning soldier (soul-die-r) who perpetrates atrocities for the aims of a greedy politician or oil baron will bear the brunt of the Karmic repercussions for his deeds, allowing his “owners” to remain somewhat (although never completely) unscathed by the Law.  Ignorance and erroneous beliefs of “righteousness” are not excuses for grown men and women to violate the free will of others and impede on their spiritual growth and development.

Likewise, when we do not take proper care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, psychically and spiritually, we will inevitably experience setbacks in spiritual growth and development.  In order for full attainment to be achieved, all systems need to be running at 100%.  This cannot happen if we are doing damage to ourselves on some level or other.  Again, ignorance and erroneous beliefs do not pardon us from the consequences of our actions.  Neither do fear, laziness, or any other number of excuses our mind can orchestrate.

But the good news is that Karma and the Law are so just that we cannot do anything that truly aids in our spiritual growth and development while impeding on the spiritual growth and development of another.  So if we are truly doing what we know in our heart and our gut (as opposed to believe with our mind) to be what is necessary for this process within ourselves, we do not need to worry about harming another and reaping the repercussions of Karma.  And if we are truly doing what we know in our heart to be necessary for spiritual growth and development, we will most certainly not harm ourselves.

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Another thing to take into account is the fact that the arena where the opportunity spiritual growth and development takes place is primarily in the physical world.  This being the case, the physical body typically needs to be alive in order for this to happen.  Thus, it is necessary we defend ourselves as well as whatever sort of spiritual lineage we may have in the form of family and tribe whom we have passed a bit of our-Self onto, or whom may have passed a bit of them-Self to us.  That being said, we need to have the discipline and control to defend without letting the impulse for sadism take over.

And while we typically want to defend our lives, sacrificing ourselves to save the lives of family and tribe can certainly reap rewards of further attainment if done for the right reasons.  The heroic honor of laying down one’s life for one’s brother in a noble fashion will be rewarded in the Halls of Valhalla.

We can also begin the practice of making “little sacrifices” in one form or another, to help ease someone’s suffering and lessen their burden.  Likewise we can make sacrifices of things in our lives that do not serve us.  Sacrifice “frees up space” and allows room for greater spiritual growth and development.

What it all comes down to is connection.  What is it that makes us feel more connected to Spirit and what makes us feel disconnected?  What makes us feel alive and full of Light and Love, and what makes us feel hollow and dead inside?  What makes us feel free and open, and what makes us feel constricted and closed off?  Hint: fear and resentment will create a sensation of being constricted.

At the end of the day, your heart and your gut know what it is you need to do, what is a waste of your time, and what is doing damage to yourself.  On the deepest level, you know what is causing you harm and what is just distracting you from where you need to focus your attention in order to strengthen your multiple bodies and accelerate your spiritual growth and development.

Doing what needs to be done to aid and accelerate our spiritual growth and development is a choice; and it is a choice we make moment by moment.  There is not a decision you make that is inconsequential, although it may seem like it at the time.  The price of true freedom is eternal vigilance.

But if you don’t want to do what you need to do to align yourself and would rather watch TV; or if you want to believe that you don’t have the time or the energy; or that the odds are just too stacked against you; or if you just don’t care, that’s fine too.

But if you do strive for the highest form of strength and excellence, and want to bring others up with you, I wish you well on the path of the true Übermensch; the new god-man; the man “who has organized the chaos of his passions, given style to his character, and become creative.  Aware of life’s terrors, he affirms life without resentment”

Namaste and God Bless.

THIS IS THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF THE FEMININE?

“To destroy, to build up, to tear up and to settle are yours, Inanna….
To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inanna….
Business, great winning, financial loss, deficit are yours, Inanna….
Neglect, careful preparation, to raise the head and to subdue are yours, Inanna….
Slander, untruthful words, to speak inimical (words) (and) to add hostile words are yours, Inanna….
To initiate a quarrel, to joke, to cause smiling, to be base and to be important are yours, Inanna.” 

  • Prayer to the Goddess Inanna-Ishtar child sacrifice Anunnaki -- Baal Ishtar Inanna

A major theme that has essentially become “pop” in modern “New Age” circles is this notion that with the “Great Shift” of December 21st, 2012, we are now living in an age that is ruled by the Divine Feminine after centuries of Masculine rule through domination and conquest.  This concept was most recently talked about by self-described psychic, (as well as activist, musician, actress and media personality) Danielle Egnew in her recent YouTube video entitled, “2016 Psychic Presidential Prediction – You may be shocked!

In her video, the psychic actress essentially predicted that Hillary Clinton was going to win the Presidential election (did we really need a psychic to predict that?).  However, she did not actually state that, but rather it was implied by stating Trump and Bernie WOULD NOT win.

She stated that Donald Trump represented the male dominator impulse that was “on its way out”, and said that “in no reality” that she had psychic access to was he the winner.

On the opposite end, she said Bernie represented “the people” and that he was doing more good on the ground than he would if he got stifled in the White House.

Hillary Clinton was described as a sort of “bridge” between the Age of male domination and empire building and the Age of compassionate egalitarianism that is supposedly just around the corner with the incoming of this new “Feminine Age”.

In her video prediction, Egnew repeated what has become pop-New Age thought, stating that after December 21st, 2012 we entered the Age of the Feminine, which is apparently all about nurturing, compassion, peace on Earth, and other “Golden Age” ideals.

To her credit, Egnew encouraged viewers to step back and take a look at the bigger picture where these political figures represented various aspects of the collective consciousness, and cease the vehement emotional in-fighting that has grown to a fever pitch among voting factions this election cycle.

However, there are issues with Ms. Egenew’s prediction, particularly when it comes to her characterizations of both the Feminine and Masculine aspects of consciousness and what that has meant in Ages past, present and future.

One unfortunate tendency among a large portion of “New Agers” is the gross over-simplification of the characteristics of the Masculine and Feminine Principles, reducing them to two-dimensional caricatures of themselves.  This undoubtedly due to the enormous impact that Neo-Marxist Critical Theory has had on the perceptions of the New Age community.

On one side we have the Masculine, symbolized by the hated “Patriarchy”- boorish, bullying, pig-headed, violent, destructive, oppressive and intolerant.  On the other side, we have the Feminine- compassionate, nurturing, loving, accepting, peaceful, level-headed, sugar, and spice, and everything nice.  These caricatures are perpetuated by Ms. Egenew in her video.

However, these depictions of the Masculine and Feminine completely disregard the millennia of wisdom handed down from the ancient world, as well as any truly objective observations of the workings of the modern world.  The ancient Celts, for example, saw the primary masculine and feminine deities as having three or four primary aspects, which can be linked to the various cycles occurring in nature.  The aspect of the “multi-faceted” deity was also found in ancient India as well as the Near-East, and is essentially a universal concept.

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The initiated knew that at the most primal level, these gods and goddesses represented aspects of individual and collective human consciousness, which exist beyond labels and any concepts of “morality”.  These were forces of nature on a cosmic scale, and the ancient initiates deeply understood the awesome complexity of these forces.

A great example of this understanding can be seen in the activities of the Inanna-Ishtar cults of Babylon and the ancient Semitic world.  Inanna-Ishtar was the goddess of love, war and sex.  Her cult practiced what was known as “sacred prostitution”, where women waited at a temple and had sex with a stranger in exchange for a divine blessing as well as money to feed hungry children, pay a debt, etc.  Undoubtedly the Biblical characterization of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute, as well as the figure of the “Whore of Babylon” from Revelation, was derived from perhaps less-than favorable views of this ancient goddess cult.

In ancient Babylon they would hold festivals in honor of the Goddess, in which the traditional roles of men and women were reversed, and men would dress as women and women would dress as men.  The participants would play games and act as children, while at the same time partaking in abject hedonism.  The purpose behind this celebration was to appease the Goddess, whom they understood had the power and potential to turn the basic ordering principle that arises from the Divine Masculine upside down, returning the world to a state of chaos.

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Researcher Colin McKay describes this cult of Inanna-Ishtar in his essay about the Hermetic and alchemical principles behind money creation and finance entitled “The Money $hot: Even Banking is All about Sex”:

Inanna-Ishtar combines male aggressiveness with the force of superabundance of female sexuality. She encompasses the two forms of potential disorder and violence—sex and war.

Inanna-Ishtar’s cultic celebrations and cultic personnel above all reflect her anomalousness and liminality. She is, one might say, externalized into unordered, carnivalesque celebration that demonstrates a reaching beyond the normal order of things and the breakdown of norms. The goddess’s festivals are institutionalized license. They celebrate and tolerate disorder. They are occasions when social rules are in abeyance and deviance from norms is articulated. Through symbolic inversion they attack the basic categorical differences between male and female, human and animal, young and old.

The chief participants and actors in the goddess’s cult are well known by name … Their transvestism simulated the androgyny of Inanna-Ishtar. It was perhaps the inversion of the male/female binary opposition that thereby neutralized this opposition. By emulating their goddess who was both female and male, they shattered the boundary between the sexes. … The cultic personnel of the goddess in their costumes, words, and acts had but one goal: ‘to delight Ishtar’s heart, give themselves up to (otherwise) for[bidden] actions.’”

The shattering of boundaries between sexes and the deviations of social norms with the point of creating “disorder” has been the stated goal of the various “Marxist-style” cultural revolutions that came out of the Frankfurt School and made the slow march through the institutions, culminating with movements like the Sexual Revolution, Second Wave Feminism, and LGBT Pride.  These revolutionary movements were not only about the disenfranchised looking for equal footing in society, but were at their roots about toppling the “Patriarchy” and dismantling the existing social order.  This was and is the cult of Inanna-Ishtar playing itself out in the world, as this sort of hypersexualized “upside-down” disorder slowly normalized the replacement traditional roles and the traditional orders of society.

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In Vedic mythology, the goddess Kāli (not to be confused with the masculine demon of the same name) was the embodiment of death, destruction and the consuming aspects of reality.  Her name means “black one and force of time”, and she is therefore called the Goddess of Time, Change, Power, Creation, Preservation, and Destruction.  She is the transition from one cycle to the next, where the old must be destroyed and dismantled in order for the creation of the new.  She is the mouth of the abyss that wishes to swallow all that we think we are.

In the ancient Babylonian creation myth, the male god Marduk slays the cosmic serpent of chaos, characterized by the feminine entity known as Tiamat, and creates the world from her body.  Tiamat is the cosmic abyss- the substance from which matter is formed, and is also representative of the Feminine Principle of raw potentiality.  Marduk was the ordering principle of the Kosmos- that which gives form, structure, and order, and is representative of the Masculine Principle.

The ancients understood that creation is comprised of two primary polarities- Masculine and Feminine.  This is the Yin and the Yang out of Taoist philosophy.  Yin, is represented as the black fish with the white eye, (as both sides contain a piece of its opposite) and represents the Feminine polarity of consciousness.  Yang then, the white fish with the black eye, represents the Male polarity of consciousness.

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In Hermetic philosophy, we see this articulated in the Principle of Gender, which states that “gender is in everything” and that all things have a male and a female polarity.  On a functional level, this exists as something that goes beyond what we understand as “sex” and can be likened to the “positive” and “negative” charges on a battery in how they operate.  The Kybalion illustrates how these Principles operate in consciousness:

The tendency of the Feminine Principle is always in the direction of receiving impressions, while the tendency of the Masculine Principle is always in. the direction of giving out, or expressing. The Feminine Principle has a much more varied field of operation than has the Masculine Principle. The Feminine Principle conducts the work of generating new thoughts, concepts, ideas, including the work of the imagination. The Masculine Principle contents itself with the work of the “Will,” in its varied phases. And yet without the active aid of the Will of the Masculine Principle, the Feminine Principle is apt to rest content with generating mental images which are the result of impressions received from outside, instead of producing original mental creations.”

In other words, there can be no act of creation without the Masculine Principle.  Without the Masculine Principle, the New Age will bring nothing “new” at all.  It is the Masculine that creates what the Feminine births and nurtures.  One cannot exist without the other.

Quite some time ago I came to the realization that what appears to be happening in the world is the “dance” of the Divine Feminine and Masculine forces playing out in the consciousness of humanity. Sometimes the dance is graceful, but quite often it appears violent.

It also helps to understand that the Masculine and Feminine Principles extend far beyond human gender, which is really irrelevant when we understand how all things contain both Principles within them.  Men and women as leaders are more or less “symbolic” to these Principles at various times, but by no means do they define them.  Men can serve as agents of the Feminine and vice versa.

We have been living our lives in the carnival of Inanna-Ishtar as the existing orders have been stripped and torn down through philosophical and ideological movements like Modernism, Postmodernism and Cultural Marxism as well as the numerous wars, revolutions and conflicts of the past century that occurred on a scale and scope never before seen.

Now it could be argued that there was some of the “nurturing” aspect of the Feminine present at the end of this Age with the advent of socialism and the social safety-net, i.e. “the welfare state”, as well as the emotional coddling that arises out of the culture of political correctness.  Ultimately these “nurturing” institutions in and of themselves can only take.  They cannot produce.  Thus there comes a point where the Masculine Principle is needed to rein things in or things begin to break down, which is what is beginning to happen economically in the West as the burden on the artificial system reaches its limit.

With both the cultural movements and the wars, the focus has been almost entirely bent towards destabilizing and “tearing down” to the point where nothing remains of the old societies.  This is what then allows for a “New Order” to be shaped out of the Masculine Principle.  But the question is, do we really understand the Masculine Principle well enough to work with it consciously to shape a world that is more aligned with the Laws of Nature and Creation, or will we be forced to remain as spectators and cheerleaders for those who do understand it?  The Kybalion illustrates this:

The majority of persons rarely employ the Masculine Principle but little and are content to live according to the thoughts and ideas instilled into the “Me” from the “I” of other minds…  The strong men and women of the world invariably manifest the Masculine Principle of Will, and their strength depends materially upon this fact. Instead of living upon the impressions made upon their minds by others, they dominate their own minds by their Will, obtaining the kind of mental images desired, and moreover dominate the minds of others likewise, in the same manner. Look at the strong people, how they manage to implant their seed-thoughts in the minds of the masses of the people, thus causing the latter to think thoughts in accordance with the desires and wills of the strong individuals. This is why the masses of people are such sheep-like creatures, never originating an idea of their own, nor using their own powers of mental activity.

This is why knowing and understanding the Principles and being able to utilize them in a conscious and functional manner is more important than ever.  We have an opportunity now as things begin to break down to create something entirely new.  But we need to be vigilant, because the Old Age always tries to stay beyond its time and will attempt to plant its seeds in the New.

Inanna-Ishtar has brought her disorder and Kali has brought her destruction as we ascend into the chaos of Tiamat, where once again, the Masculine Principle of order will once again bring form, as we move out of the Age of the FEMININE water (emotions) sign of Pisces and into the MASCULINE air (mind) sign of Aquarius.ma-34359165

Yes we have been in a Feminine Age the whole time and you didn’t even know it. Perhaps some might be up in arms over this statement, furrowing their brows and flailing their limbs while lamenting, “B-b-but the oppression, a-a-and the Patriarchy…”

To that I simply offer this bit of life insight: I have never seen anyone more oppressive and cruel towards women than other women. 

Likewise, I have never seen guys act dumber than when they are trying to impress a girl.

But in all seriousness, the Zodiacal Ages are contained within the larger Yuga Ages.  The Kali Yuga was a male-dominator Age, but it was intersected halfway by the feminine Piscean Age, which ushered the transition out of the Kali Yuga in the 1700s.  This was the Enlightenment Era of scientific discovery and political egalitarianism.  This was also the beginning of the transition an age in Western society where it was stable and safe enough for the philosophy of Feminism to emerge, which up until that point it had not been.

There was a long-held believe that the Kali Yuga would be immediately followed by the Satya Yuga or “Golden Age”, which is seen by many as the Age of the Primordial Mother, but also as the Age where the Primordial Duo were One.  However this was found to be untrue by the great mystic, Sri Yukteswar, teacher of Yogananada, who found that we are now in fact in a Dwapara Yuga or “Energy Age”, as opposed to a new Golden Age.  At this point in time, this is idea of us being in an “energy age” is easily observed as almost a no-brainer in this age of scientific and technological breakthroughs.

It is said that in the Dwapara Yuga, people will be “kingly and pleasure-seeking. In this era, the divine intellect ceases to exist, and it is therefore seldom that anyone is wholly truthful. As a result of this life of deceit, people are plagued by ailments, diseases and various types of desires. After suffering from these ailments, people realize their misdeeds and perform penance.

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So we are headed into a Masculine mental Age in during the greater Energy Age.  What does this mean?  It means that we are in an Age where both Feminine AND Masculine forces will be shifting and re-aligning as we move back towards that Golden Age so many want to be here RIGHT NOW.  Don’t worry though, good things come to those who wait… several thousand years.

Namaste and God Bless.

THE CURE FOR AN ISOLATED WORLD

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’”
– Gospel of Matthew 22:39

Things-About-Homeless-PeoplePhoto Courtesy of Lifehack.org

One of the more depressing side effects of living in an urban environment is a sort of desensitization to your environment and the people in it.  In reaction to this overwhelming stimulus, we often identify and relate to other human beings with the same sort of indifference as we do the buildings that surround them, or in the case of certain sects of the population, a sort of annoyed discomfort.  How many of us have walked or driven past a homeless man or woman begging for money and averted our eyes in attempts to not get their attention.  How many times have we walked past homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk and secretly wished they weren’t there.

Amidst all of the talk about “privilege” and “equality” in the socio-political sphere, discussion of the homeless epidemic in America that crosses all ages, races and ethnicities (including white people), seems to be almost non-existent.  If anything, it is reduced to a fundamentally utilitarian issue, as it has been here in the city of Portland.  Here, we see the city looking to put “these people” somewhere out of the way.  That’s really what it boils down to.  The government isn’t looking to address any of the fundamental issues of homelessness because at the end of the day, it can’t.  The homelessness epidemic won’t be solved by putting people away somewhere, just like drug and alcohol addiction won’t be solved by locking people up in prison- and the two are most certainly linked.  This is not to say that ALL homeless people are alcoholics or drug addicts, but absolute despair will seek relief, and for many, there is no other anecdote in sight.

Of course, beggars have always been a part of human urban society for most of recorded history, but things have changed dramatically in the last century, especially in the western urbanized/industrialized nations.  This coincided with the industrial revolution and the development of the urban megacities that we see today.  In the 19th century, farmers living in rural areas were moved en masse into the industrial centers to work in factories.  With that alcohol use among these populations skyrocketed.  Similar occurrences happened after the urban factories began to shut down in the latter part of the 20th century.  I have seen firsthand the effects of a former “mill town” turning into a meth/heroin town.

It was long thought that the addiction epidemics among the increasingly urbanized populations were due to the drugs themselves.  A study where one rat in a cage was given a bottle of regular water and a bottle of water laced with cocaine was used to support this thesis. In the study, the rat in the cage chose the cocaine water to excess until it overdosed itself.  The study was “conclusive” drugs are the cause of addiction and the resulting destruction of life that happens as a result.  However, in the 1970s, Professor Bruce Alexander looked into this study and redid it with a different approach.  He noticed that the rat in the cage was just a solitary rat surrounded by cold steel bars.  So he decided to build a “rat city” for his experiment, with bright colors, obstacles and tunnels for activity, plenty of cheese, and a group of rats that could commune and procreate with one another as opposed to just one rat living in isolation.  The result? The cocaine water was barely touched by any of the rats.

The effect of life in the “concrete jungle” created a sense of isolation and despair among those who were forced to move there for various reasons. Cut off from the natural world and organic community, other things filled the void.  Then when the factories that built these cities in the first place were shipped elsewhere, any sense of fulfillment and purpose that had developed as the people adapted to this sort of living, was gone, and in its place was more despair and seemingly even less hope.

Baltimore is an example of this– a city that seems to have been lost to hopeless despair and the crime-ridden chaos that comes to fill the vacuum.  A little less than a year ago, that city was in flames.  We all remember the riots and fires that occurred last year.  Likewise, many are aware of the assaults, murders, rapes and various other types of crime that continues to occur in that city.  The popular diagnosis is that this “acting out” was/is because of the actions of white police.  But the truth is that what has happened and what has continued to happen in Baltimore isn’t about the police.  It isn’t about drugs.  It isn’t even about the drug war (although it plays a supporting role).  It isn’t even about an unruly subset of the population or the mass-media promotion of “crime culture“(although it also plays a supporting role).  It is about people living in a completely unnatural environment where they are cut off from nature and true community.  It is about the urban landscape creating a place where one feels alone amongst a population of thousands; a place where you feel like little more than a living ghost, who desperately reaches for that immediate gratification, (be it drugs, booze, sex or violence) because it is the only thing that makes you feel alive.

But amidst the bitter resentment and hopeless despair that comes from living in such a cold, and inhospitable environment, we see an image like this:

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A Baltimore police officer named Eric Gaines took this photo, and then shared it on social media.  What is happening here?  Officer Gaines explains what he saw:

I watched as this young kid was walking pass, stopped and walked over to this sleeping homeless man; touched him and began praying over him…”

Gaines believed the young man, probably around 15 or 16 to have been internally prompted to do what he did as he “almost missed his bus while he was praying for the guy, which confirmed that he did it for no other reason than to pray for him.”

The photo has gone viral, which has delighted Gaines who states with great enthusiasm:

This was an amazing sight! I pray this kid becomes a leader amongst his peers, and continues on this path!! Not all Baltimore youth are lost!!”

Officer Gaines went on to say that “people have preconceived notion of young men… Not all are lost. Some are doing wonderful things in the neighborhood and community and it’s not getting the same publicity in the media.”  (And the same could be said of police officers as well)

This is a beautiful moment frozen in time.  What we have here is the equivalent of the beautiful flower that grows in the middle of a landfill.  It shows us how despite being seemingly imprisoned in a desolate world of hopeless isolation and despair, Light, Life and Love still finds a way.  A moment of tenderness in a harsh concrete prison cell of modern “Saṃsāra, where one young man extended himself in an act of service to another human being.

The most immediate cure for the diseases of isolation and loneliness is not imprisonment or even “sobriety”; it is fellowship and community; it is connection.  Sometimes all it takes a stranger who seems to come out of nowhere to show just one small act of compassion to turn someone’s life around.  All the government legislation, mandates and programs in the world will never be able to fill the role of a single caring individual who acts out of the motivation of his or her own heart and nothing more (or less), regardless of how “small” this action may seem on the surface.

Jesus said “Man cannot live on bread alone”, and I dare say this is, at least in part, what he was referring to.  This idea that even more than physical sustenance, we need the touch and compassion of another human being in order to survive.  The truth of this is so palpable for me and has proven so true for me in my own life I cannot even begin to fully articulate. I know the immense pain of isolation and living in separation from others and the desire to numb yourself from that.  Conversely, I know the joy and fulfillment of connection and fellowship, and how that can change your life.

Perhaps one day, we will opt for a new way of living and being in the world; a way that allows us to not only survive, but thrive.  Perhaps we will one day build a civilization that is aligned with the Laws of Nature and Creation- a civilization that truly nurtures us and the world around us; a civilization at harmony with the essence of our being.  Perhaps one day we will build this civilization, but when we do, it won’t come as a result of government or other cold and impersonal mechanisms; it will come from the warmth of our hearts and through the use of our own free will to take meaningful actions in our own lives towards others.  It all begins by reaching out to a fellow in need and doing something, even if it’s no more than lending a listening ear or a compassionate prayer.

In closing, for those who feel moved to get involved and make a difference here in the Portland area, two great places to give or better yet, volunteer are The Portland Rescue Mission and Operation Nightwatch, whom I have worked with in the past.  If you aren’t local to Portland, I strongly urge you to get involved in your own community.  It is in your own local area where you can actually touch someone in the sort of way that allows for the true connectedness that we are so desperately lacking in our modern world of isolation.

Jesus said to “love thy neighbor“.  A neighbor is someone who lives in close physical proximity to someone else, not an unknown person in a far off land.  There is so much focus on helping people in the most remote parts of the world, when what is really needed is for us extend ourselves locally and help our fellow brothers and sisters who live right here alongside of us; who share living space with us; because it is in the close and intimate where we truly have the greatest ability to be of service to others.

Namaste and God Bless.

ĒOSTRE: THE RETURN OF THE GODDESS

“Here, in this moment of balance, I honor and recognize the sacred mystery of existence. I am a part of a cosmic dance. A holy and blessed music fills the world. The light and the darkness shift from this moment onward. As it is on the land, so it is in my being. I follow the movement of the Mother, and She works a transformation in me. Be it new beginnings or resolution, the Equinox is a point of transition; of change. I embrace the change.”

– Teo Bishop: “The Solitary Druid Fellowship’s Equinox Devotional”
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For the people of the ancient world, especially those living in Northern Europe, the changing of the seasons was of particularly great significance. The lengthening of the days that began after the winter solstice gave the anticipation of the beginning of the end of what were at times long and perilous winters- which for some were a time of hunger and death. This is why the time when the frost melted, the trees began to bud, and the flowers began to bloom was a time of great festivity and jubilation. According to the Roman Catholic monk, Bede, it was during this time that the Germanic tribes of Europe (the Anglo-Saxons in particular) had great feasts and celebrations during Ēosturmōnaþ (April) in honor of the goddess Ēostre, also known as Ostara.

Ēostre derives from the Proto-Indo-European austrōn meaning “dawn”. This has led many scholars to conclude that Ēostre was the goddess of the dawn- a solar goddess. As I talked about at length in my articles, “Yule: Birth of the Sun God(dess)”, and “The Abrahamic Question”, much of the Indo-European spiritual traditions seemed to have been a holdover from much further in antiquity than the peoples of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, who lived around the same time. This includes the personification of the solar deity as a female. I encourage folks to read the article on Yule in particular as I get into that in some detail.

The goddess Ēostre was also understood to be a fertility goddess and is associated in particular with the season of spring, when new life seems to be “reborn” or “resurrected” out of the seeming death of winter. When the spring comes, it proves that this “death” was merely an illusion, and that life can never truly die. The seasons themselves follow the Sun and if we were to look at the cycle of the year as that of a single day, we would most certainly place spring in conjunction with the time of sunrise- the dawn after the long, cold night of winter. Hence it makes sense for the goddess of the spring to also be the goddess of the dawn.

Ēostre was yet another aspect or “personality” of the complex Goddess archetype that envelops the natural world. The people of these times lived very close to the natural world and were quite attuned to its patterns and rhythms and revered them. They had a certain deep reverence for life that seems to be lacking in much of modern culture. They revered not only archetypal gods and mythic patterns, but also animals and animal spirits. One animal particular revered and symbolic for this time was of course, the rabbit. The ancients no doubt saw this animal as a symbol of this season due to its incredible fertility. Likewise we also have the egg as a great symbol of new life, which is what Ēostre is all about.
In his 1835 book, “Deutsche Mythologie”, German author Jacob Grimm spoke of this particularly joyous time:

We Germans to this day call April ostermonat, and ôstarmânoth is found as early as Eginhart. The great Christian festival, which usually falls in April or the end of March, bears in the oldest of OHG remains the name ôstarâ … it is mostly found in the plural, because two days … were kept at Easter. This Ostarâ, like the [Anglo-Saxon] Eástre, must in heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the Christian teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own grandest anniversaries.

Ostara_by_Johannes_Gehrts

It is no secret that Germanic paganism and the later Germanic mystical tradition played a huge role in the shaping of Christianity in Europe and later America. This is one reason it could be argued that Christianity as many know it is just as rooted in Northern Europe as it is in Rome or even the Middle East. This idea of German mystical influence is also something I delve into in the third installment of my “Origins of World War II: The German Question” series.

Grimm then goes on to describe further correlations between the goddess cult and the later Christian adaptation:

Ostara, Eástre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing, whose meaning could be easily adapted by the resurrection-day of the Christian’s God. Bonfires were lighted at Easter and according to popular belief of long standing, the moment the sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, he gives three joyful leaps, he dances for joy … Water drawn on the Easter morning is, like that at Christmas, holy and healing … here also heathen notions seems to have grafted themselves on great Christian festivals. Maidens clothed in white, who at Easter, at the season of returning spring, show themselves in clefts of the rock and on mountains, are suggestive of the ancient goddess.

However, the Goddess and her mythos is far-reaching and the story of her aspect as the bearer of new life and fertility is no exception. One of the great myths retold throughout the ancient world revolved around the descent of the fertility goddess into the Underworld and her triumphant return, bringing rejuvenated life to the world.

The Goddess has had many names. In ancient Mesopotamia she was known as Ishtar, daughter of the Moon god, San (the Moon is often associated with the Goddess and the Divine Feminine). In this version of the story, Ishtar not only desires to enter the land of the dead, but is more than a little insistent upon doing so as the ancient myth shows as she storms the gates of the Underworld:

O keeper! Open thy gate! Open thy gate! I say, that I may enter! If thou openest not thy gate, I will assault the door; I will break down the gate; I will attack the entrance; I will split open the portals.”

However, once Ishtar enters the Underworld, the Mistress of Hades inflicts all manner of suffering upon her and imprisons her in the Underworld. As Ishtar was the goddess of fertility, her absence prevented the crops from growing and life from maturing so that it was able to reproduce itself. When the gods saw that Ishtar’s absence was having such a disorganizing effect on the balance of Nature, they sent a messenger to the Underworld to demand her release.

In ancient Greece we have a similar story of the young goddess, Persephone. Persephone was the goddess of new life and new growth, who caused flowers to bloom wherever she went. She was beautiful, and was coveted by Hades, lord of the Underworld. Hades eventually made up his mind that he would have Persephone and came to the surface world in his dark chariot, kidnapped her, and made her his bride. However, like Ishtar, her absence caused the green of Earth to slowly wither and die. The gods demanded that Hades release her. Hades eventually agreed to do so, under the condition that for half of the year, she would remain with him, and the other half, she would live on the surface and continue her job of creating new life. This was understood to be the origin of the seasons.

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The time of the spring equinox; the time of new life; correlates with the modern Christian holiday of Easter by no coincidence. The story of Christ Jesus was modeled after these ancient myths and some would say that his purpose as a physical being was to physically imprint these archetypes and initiations into the brutally dense material existence that was the Kali Yuga. We may recall his descent into the Underworld, or “Hell” as mirroring that of Ishtar or Persephone. However, he was not captured, but rather went down to release humanity from the strengthening vice of Satan/Saturn- the force or pull of matter into increasing density- so that man would be able to re-ascend into finer, more etheric or “spiritual” states of existence.

The Goddess, while given somewhat of a supporting role in the canonical texts of the Bible, nevertheless plays arguably the most important central role in the crucifixion/resurrection story, with Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene being present at the cross as Christ Jesus “gave up the ghost”, and Mary Magdalene being the first to see Jesus after being resurrected and transformed into his Light body. In fact, certain sects of Gnostic Christianity saw Mary Magdalene as the human incarnation of the fallen wisdom goddess Sophia, who was reunited with the human incarnation of her lover, the Christos.

There are many, many myths about the Goddess that can be read and enjoyed. However, the true purpose of a myth is not to simply entertain, but rather its purpose is to inspire us to some form of action. It is to create an urge to delve deeper into the mysteries of reality and our own lives. It is to encourage us to explore the world and fine tune our understanding and relationship to the Laws of Nature and Creation.

During these times when so many of us are confined to urban areas, it is more important than ever for us to find ways to attune ourselves to and align ourselves with nature in whatever way we can. This will enable us to develop not only a better understanding of these patterns and how they work in the exterior world, but also how they operate in the interior world of our own being.800px-British_Museum_Queen_of_the_Night

As I have spoken of before, when I was first called to really pursuing spirituality and a spiritual path on my own, it was through the practice of pagan shamanism (which I still practice to this day, albeit sporadically at times). I have found through my experience that shamanic work, particularly the practice of journeying into the archetypal realms, the subconscious and the unconscious (both collective and individual), is ruled by the Goddess.
I have seen the Goddess and experienced Her in a myriad of forms, from the old crone; to the nature goddess; to the being I know as the White Goddess- who is the warrior wisdom goddess known as Athena, complete with a snowy owl perched on her shoulder. I have even had a particularly powerful experience with Ishtar and the owl-like beings pictured alongside her. Interestingly enough, it was after the experience that I found this photograph and saw the beings I had seen in the vision looking nearly identical to what I had experienced.

So as we move into spring and the new life blooms, I urge folks to get out into nature and experience it. The great alchemist and healer Paracelsus wrote:

Nature is the Universal Teacher… It was the Book of Nature, written by the finger of God, which I studied… Nature is the universal teacher.  Whatever we cannot learn from the external appearance of nature, we can learn from her spirit. Both are one.  Everything is taught by Nature to her disciple if he asks for information in the appropriate manner.”

I am not saying to completely disregard whatever texts inspire you and hold value to your life, but know that there is more to spiritual life than words on a page. Both the Gnostic and the Shaman hold the direct experience of the spiritual world as the most sacrosanct- and it is these two avenues above all else that have personally influenced my journey. In any event. I will always encourage folks to seek and explore as many avenues of direct spiritual experience as they can handle (and then a little more).  And of course, I encourage you to get to know your Goddess in all of her myriad forms and in as many ways as you can. She is an amazing, incredible and complex being who is full of wisdom- and someone who I should really listen to more often 😉

Namaste and God Bless.

THE RETURN OF THE KING (Part 2)

“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed in a vesture dipt in blood; and his name is called The Word of God… And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

– Revelation 19:12-16

During the celebration of holy mass in the chapel of the Carmelite Monastery 6 members of the OCDS community made promises to the Order.  Dr. Jason Bourgeois and Judy Hawkins professed their temporary vows for 2 years and David Travers, Suzie Megown, Kath
Image courtesy of https://www.truthanchor.com/the-king-of-kings/

Swiss psychologist Carl Jung has been touted by many as a pioneer into the “uncharted” realms of human consciousness.  One of the great “discoveries” (I use quotes for uncharted and discoveries because this was in fact a rediscovery of ancient knowledge and understanding) was that of what Jung referred to as “archetypes”.  In the book, “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetype of the Mature Masculine”, authors Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette describe the findings of Jung and those who followed in his footsteps:

Jung and his successors have found that on the level of the deep unconscious the psyche of every person is grounded in what Jung called the ‘collective unconscious’, made up of instinctual patterns and energy configurations probably inherited genetically throughout the generations… These archetypes provide the very foundations of our behaviors- our thinking, our feeling, and our characteristic human reactions.  They are the image makers that artists and poets and religious prophets are so close to.”

Jung understood archetypes to be the inhabitants of the mythic landscape of human consciousness- the wellspring from which the great myths and legends of all cultures arise.  Archetypes simultaneously shape human consciousness while being shaped by it.  While there are subcategories of archetypes and certain elements that are distinct to different races, ethnicities and cultures, there are certain archetypes that are universal to all humans.  The most important of these is the archetype of the King.

In times of old, human tribes and civilizations from China to Babylon, from Egypt to Britain, from the Congo to Mesoamerica, all had versions of what we would call “kings”- rulers who claimed a sort of “divine right” of rule.  Nowadays the notion of an individual human claiming divine right of rule is abhorrent to the modern mind accustomed to representative democracy and the like.  We tend to conjure up images of obese tyrants living in luxury while their subjects starve to death.  We see this tyrant justifying his cruelty and neglect toward the people by saying he had “divine right” to behave the way he did.  However, this is in fact the opposite of what the ancient understanding of what the embodiment of the King archetype was.

The Wonderful Story of Britain: King Arthur leads his men into battle
Image courtesy of lookandlearn.com

One of the basic functions of the king could be understood of that of a protector and a guardian of the land.  Typically trained as a warrior, the king would be chosen for his leadership capabilities and his skill in battle.  The king would be charged with leading the warriors into battle, defending the people and the land from marauding invaders and rivaling tribes.  Warriors would not go to battle if the king was not fighting alongside them.  The king was a man of honor and virtue.  However, the king was understood to be something even more than these things.

The true legitimate king of antiquity was akin to Socrates’ vision of the “philosopher-king”- a spiritually attuned human being, initiated into the Divine mysteries whose role it was to bring the divine principles into Earthly form through the construction of society and the rules that held it together as well as giving/bringing blessing to the people and the land.  One may imagine the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt who were priest-kings of a supposedly semi-divine nature.  These would have been individuals who studied in the great mystery schools and underwent the great initiations into understanding the Divine Laws of Nature and Creation and had achieved a state of Self-Mastery.  These priest-kings would have been mediators standing in between the divine and earthly realms as a conduit.

However, in these ancient times, the kingship was a tentative position, and once the king was no longer able to embody these Divine Laws and Principles, he was removed from the throne, and in some cases, sacrificed.  The story of the sacrifice of the king is a part of ancient myth and lore as well.  In the archetypal sense (and at times the historical as well), the king is willfully sacrificed or even sacrifices himself, accepting his role as a channel for the divine forces of creation.  This can be seen in the ancient myth of “The Sacred King”.  The true king is wise and selfless, and understands that he is a conduit for something that is beyond himself as an individual of flesh and blood.  The true king sees his role in the seemingly endless cycle, hence the phrase that is chanted upon the coronation of a new king- “The king is dead.  Long live the king”.

The true king of ancient times was the embodiment of the great ordering principle of the universe- the creative force that molds the raw material from which all things are made in a right and orderly way.  This is the Divine Masculine Principle that creates the world from the stuff of the Great Cosmic Abyss, which is the Great Mother.  When Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”, he was embodying this ordering principle as well as stating that he himself was a medium for a power that was greater than he was.  Moore and Gillette explain this:

“[T]he king was the earthly conduit from the Divine World- the world of the King energy- to this world.  He was the mediator between the mortal and the divine… He was the central artery… that allowed the blood of the life-force to flow into the human world.”

We may recall the scene from the Last Supper where Jesus has the Apostles partake of the cup of “His blood”.  It was this rite that the Apostles brought into the world as the sacrament of Communion, in which all who wished could partake in the blood of the divine life-force and take it into their Being, becoming one with it.

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It is also understood in the Christian mysteries that the greater power that anointed and embodied itself in the figure of Jesus was the Sun.  The Sun was understood to be the physical body of an invisible God- the Christos.  The masculine creative ordering principle has been associated with the Sun since great antiquity, with human kings from Pharaoh Akhenaten of Egypt to King Louis XIV of France associating it (right or wrong) as the source of their power and right of “divine rule”.

The true king as understood in antiquity was a steward and protector to the people- a kind of “all father”.  This concept would often be literal as well, as the lineage of the true king was seen as something that should be passed on to strengthen the people and the land.  It was understood at that time there was a spiritual component to genetic lineage and true nobility. Like the immortal gods who were his ancestors, the king took on the role as the literal and figurative patriarch of the people.

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The king was seen as being in a sacred matrimony with the land, which was understood to be the Goddess Herself.  It was to Her and Her children (the people, as well as wild game and livestock) that the king was sworn to protect and serve until he was no longer capable.  The king’s true queen was understood to be the Goddess of the Land; the Goddess of the Earth.  It was she who had the ultimate say as to whether or not the king was fit to rule and be in union with her.  Gnostics understood this Goddess as the “Fallen Goddess” Sophia, who “fell” into Earth.  Many Gnostics and practitioners of the Mysteries understood both Mary the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene to be aspects or incarnations of this Goddess.

In “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover”, Moore and Gillette paint a very clear picture of what the role of the “Earthly” King was understood to be in these ancient times:

It is the mortal king’s duty not only to receive and take to his people the right social order of the universe and cast it in a societal form but, even more fundamentally, to embody it in his own person, to live it in his own life.  The mortal king’s first responsibility is to live according to Ma’at, or Dharma, or the TaoIf he does, the mythology goes, everything in the kingdom- that is, the creation, the world- will also go according to the Right Order.  The kingdom will flourish.  If the king does not live ‘in the Tao’ then nothing will go right for his people, or for the kingdom as a whole.  The realm will languish, the Center, which the king represents, will not hold, and the kingdom will be ripe for rebellion.”

It is following this Right Order; following “The Way”, that legitimizes the King.  Again, we recall Christ Jesus referring to himself as “the Way”- he was speaking as the living embodiment of this principle.  To this day, many followers of the teachings of Christ refer to themselves as “Servants of the Way“.

During the Middle Kingdom period of ancient Egypt, the prophet Nefer-rohu wrote of the disastrous consequences of what occurred when corrupt and illegitimate rulers who did not follow and embody the principles of Ma’at– interpreted as “Right Order”; sat on the throne of Egypt:

The land is completely perished… The sun-disc is covered over…. The rivers of Egypt are empty…. Damaged indeed are those good things, those fish ponds…. Everything good is disappeared… Foes have arisen in the east, and Asiatics have come down into Egypt….This land is helter-skelter…. men will take up weapons of warfare, [so that] the land lives in confusion.  Men will make arrows of metal, beg for the bread of blood, and laugh with the laughter of sickness…. [A] man’s heart pursues himself [alone]…. A man sits in his corner [turning] his back while one kills another.  I show thee a son as a foe, the brother as an enemy, and a man killing his [own] father.

Nefer-rohu then prophesized of a new king that would arise who would embody the principles of Right Order, restoring Egypt, driving out the invaders and setting things right with the Kosmos.

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Image courtesy of http://www.gks.uk.com/Horus-Behdety-Winged-Disk/

Something happened as the Ages progressed and humanity came into the “Dark Time”, i.e. the Kali Yuga.  The kingly lineages became increasingly prone to corruption and tyranny.  They began to no longer serve the people, but rather their own self-interest and lust for power.  At the same time, members of the merchant class began to rise to prominence, corrupting the machinations of government.  Again, it is at this time the story of Christ Jesus takes place.  Born into obscurity, but having blood of the old kingly lineage, he had the task of raising the archetype of the king out of corruption- in essence bringing it back from the dead.  The rulers on the throne were illegitimate, and now the true king- the true embodiment of the king archetype had returned.  However, the way the throne would be reclaimed would be done in a way that was unheard of and is still at this point just beginning to become realized.

When Jesus bled into the Earth, the seeds were planted for something monumental.  However, it would be some time before the seeds began to sprout and grow.  As the gestation process was occurring, the illegitimate rulers maintained and continued their power.  But they were secretly aware of what was occurring and sought to corrupt, poison or crush any “seedlings” of the Christ event that they saw.

These illegitimate rulers are still firmly in control of the machinations of Earthly government to this day, and are attempting to tighten their grasp out of fear of the inevitable.  They believe that if they can manipulate, poison and destroy the soil of humanity and the Earth that they can hold onto their illegitimate power and keep the King from returning.  However, true power rests only to those who can embody the King archetype, which these men (and women) do not.  Anything else is illegitimate and will inevitably fall to its own internal corruption.

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Jesus stated, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;

It has been understood by students and practitioners of the Mysteries that the long-awaited “Second Coming” will not be the return of an individual, but rather the birth of a “Christened Humanity”- that is a humanity that acts and lives in “Christ Consciousness”.  The King archetype is returning to manifest not as one great individual who will lead humanity and the Earth to the promised land, but rather it is returning to each individual soul that is incarnated on Earth who has done the work to prepare themselves as a vessel appropriate for such an anointing.  To quote Hopi prophecy, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Christ Jesus sacrificed himself so that the Solar Initiations that were once relegated to a select few would be available to all of humanity.  It is understood by many in the esoteric traditions, that the work of Christ Jesus enabled a sort of “inner life” in every human being that had not been available before.  Christ made it possible for the sort of Self-Mastery that had only been possible for the most elite of incarnated beings to be available to everyone.  Christ Jesus made it possible for anyone to embody the archetype of the King if they were willing to do what was needed for the transformation to take place.  This is the true legacy of the man who was the incarnation of the Sun/Son of God and his lineage are all who are able to go through the initiation process of psycho-spiritual death and resurrection, and become an anointed being.

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In order for this to take place, we have to allow the immature, selfish and fearful lower ego to die in order to claim our right to the “Throne”.  This “death” was the pivotal component of the ancient initiation process, which has seemingly been lost in modern culture (although is still present in some of the indigenous cultures that are also being wiped out).  The illegitimate rulers seek to keep us in a state of perpetual childhood so we cannot fully come into being as Sovereign Anointed Kings (and Queens).  This is why governments and societies are set up in the manner that they currently are and by and large have been for millennia.  Likewise, the initiations we are “allowed” to have in modern society are by and large things that either serve or don’t threaten the illegitimate system like graduations, job promotions, military service, sports, fraternities, etc.  Otherwise, they are things that only serve to degrade and corrupt the individual like gang initiations.  Even things like Freemasonic initiation rites are not what they once were.

During the periods known as the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, the ideas of Sovereignty; i.e. “Self-Rule” as well as Self Determination for not only nations, but individuals, began to resurface in European consciousness.  Many of these ideas stemmed from the ancient Celtic, Germanic and Nordic cultures, but were eventually either suppressed or wiped out by the illegitimate rulers.  These reborn ideals then began to spread throughout Europe and into the New World, culminating in the ideals expressed and carried out in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the idea of rule “for the people, by the people”.

However, the illegitimate rulers sought to twist and corrupt these “seedlings” and did so pretty successfully.  The problem was that while the people may have been ready for the external freedom that results from self-rule, most were still not mature enough and lacked the true personal responsibility and understanding required for internal mastery.  This made the people susceptible to moral corruption and cultural decadence, which eventually led to them losing sight of the little bit of self-mastery that had been achieved which had allowed for their external freedoms.  Each generation slipped into increasing decadence and childishness.  This is what has led to the predicament we find ourselves in today.

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Image copyright Kalen Ockerman

We cannot have true freedom until we each learn to master our internal domain.  We master our internal domain by learning to control and harmonize our thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions; as well as understanding and working in conjunction with the Laws of Nature and Creation.  Now this may sound simple, but for most people (myself included) actually having the discipline and willingness to sacrifice and surrender the childish and selfish ways of the lower ego can be extremely difficult.  Nevertheless this is exactly the process Christ Jesus said was necessary in the Gospel of Thomas when he said:

When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one. . . then you will enter [the kingdom].”

This work begins when one answers “The Call” of Life to begin the path of CONSCIOUS spiritual initiation (this in and of itself can take lifetimes).  It is at this point we begin “The Hero’s Journey” that mythologist and author Joseph Campbell pointed out was the central theme of the major myths and legends of humanity- including the story of Christ Jesus.  In this archetypal story, the hero is called (often reluctantly) to embark on a quest or adventure.  The hero then passes through a series of increasingly harrowing ordeals and initiations, climaxing in his/her confronting death itself in some form or fashion.  This culminates in the triumphant ascension or “resurrection” of the hero who is now changed from what he once was into something far greater.  It is a change as stark as the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.  In truth, the Hero is the young, immature version of the King, who goes through the ordeal in order to be able to legitimately claim the Throne.  It was only after the death and resurrection that Jesus was truly KING OF KINGS.

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Looking at the world through this understanding of the King archetype, we can see that all the suffering, chaos, and environmental erosion currently taking place in the world is a direct impetus of illegitimate rulers who do not properly align with the King energy being allowed to hold power; combined with our own refusal to align with the King energy ourselves.  If we look back to the writings of the ancient Egyptian prophet, Nefer-rohu, we will see a startling amount of similarities between what his people were experiencing then under illegitimate rulership, and what we are experiencing now.  However unlike those ancient times, we now each have not only the potential but the responsibility to bring that King energy back into the world through ourselves and bring new life to a dying humanity and a dying planet.

We need to understand that this will not be achieved through electing politicians and giving more power to technocrats and oligarchs.  These are the illegitimate rulers who operate the illegitimate governing system, and any attempt to legitimize the illegitimate is an exercise in futility.  I believe human destiny begins with the move towards true Sovereignty; true Self-Rule; which leads to true freedom both internally and externally.  The idea of human self-governance should be the end goal here, but it is something that must be initiated from within ourselves, rather than something to impose externally through creating more laws and bureaucracies.

Of course I realize that individual humans are far from equal, most of all in their progress moving up the ladder towards this ultimate goal of becoming Anointed Sovereign Beings.  This process can take lifetimes.  I realize that most humans alive on this planet are not ready or even capable of Self-Rule at this time, and that a great deal of suffering will still need to occur before this reality will be manifested on a collective level.  But suffering, although unpleasant, is a crucial component in the process of Self-Mastery.  Suffering is the elixir of the strong.  Christ Jesus needed to suffer immensely before he could before his destiny of becoming KING OF KINGS could be fully realized.  But it is in the midst of our suffering where we have the opportunity to face and overcome the things that keep us from Self-Mastery, including the greatest fear known to mankind- death.

We are seeking to do nothing less than align our Being with the Divine Ordering Principle of the Universe.  I will again reference the wonderfully insightful work of Moore and Gillette to explain how this Principle can work in each one of us:

The King archetype in its fullness possesses the quality of order, of reasonable and rational patterning, of integration and integrity… in the psyche.  It stabilizes chaotic emotion and out of control behaviors.  It brings calm.  And in its ‘fertilizing’ and centeredness, it mediates vitality, life-force and joy.  It brings maintenance and balance.  It defends our own sense of inner order, our own integrity of being and of purpose, our own central calmness about who we are, and our essential unassailability and certainty in our… identity.  It looks upon the world with a firm but kindly eye.  It sees others in all their weakness and in all their talent and self-worth.  It honors them and promotes them.  It guides them and nurtures them toward their own fullness of being.  It is not envious, because it is secure, as the King, in its own worth.  It rewards and encourages creativity in us and in others.

In its central incorporation and expression of the Warrior, it represents an aggressive might when that is what is needed when order is threatened.  It also has the power of inner authority.  It knows and discerns (its Magician aspect) and acts out of this deep knowingness.  It delights in us and others (its Lover aspect) and shows this delight through words of authentic praise and concrete actions that enhance our lives.”

Austrian mystic, Rudolf Steiner understood the Christ Impulse to be the one that brought balance and harmony to the opposing forces of the manifest world.  This impulse brings order and blessing into the world and into our lives.  It is the realization and actualization of the Christ Impulse, which is one and the same as the King archetype, that will move us towards our destiny, which was alluded to when Jesus said in John 10:34, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?”tumblr_molh95uy0d1svb6rio2_1280

I do not believe the destiny of man is to simply return to our Source in order to be re-absorbed, becoming the same formless collective we emerged as in the beginning.  Nor do I feel we are simply to become child-like spirit beings frolicking in a heavenly paradise, living in a state of divine subjugation, and existing in a sort of angelic hive-mind: we aren’t going back to Eden.  Rather I feel our destiny is to continue the individuation process of the ONE that divided ITSELF into many, until each individual soul is the fully realized god-being that it is meant to be.  There is a difference between individuation and separation- one is reality while the other is illusion.  The full realization of the Solar Christ Impulse and the King energy is man’s path to godhood.  I see us each as individual souls destined to become divine immortal beings in a way that is different than what we were before.  We are evolving and are to become the new pantheon of immortal gods and goddesses- sacred kings and queens- ushering in the New Kingdom of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Namaste and God Bless.