Monday, December 20, 2010

The Purpose of Life!

It’s 3:48 am and I’ve just had a revelation that I must record here so I don’t forget it. It’s so absurdly simple, so obvious, so trivial that it feels silly to even write it down. Here it is anyway, in large blinking letters...

The purpose of life is to reduce suffering and increase joy, for ourselves and for all sentient beings who live now and who will live after us.

That’s it! Isn’t it beautiful? Can anyone find a flaw in it? Am I missing something obvious?

This revelation came to me while I was pondering the Schopenhauerian horror of life on planet Earth – the deadly viruses, parasites and pests, the endless cycle of creatures eating creatures and consuming whatever they need to survive, without remorse or pity. It all seems so pointless!  Why not just build a doomsday device and put an end to all the suffering once and for all?

Yet we alone, among all the creatures on this planet, seem to have this sense of morality, this notion that there are "good" and "bad" behaviors. Obviously the mosquito, the shark and the crocodile don’t suffer from existential doubt; even our closer mammalian relatives show little or no moral sense when they hunt or fight or mate.  Is this moral sense a defect in our genetic makeup? Is it the thing which compels us to create religions, to help us cope with the amoral nature of the world around us? Is it our inherent sense of morality which makes us dissatisfied with the world as it is, which drives us to constantly seek to improve upon it by invention, cultural innovation and self-improvement?  Perhaps this moral sense is our greatest gift and not our greatest curse?

And if we take this gift to its logical conclusion, don't we arrive at my revelation above?  Our purpose is to reduce suffering and increase joy – to work toward a biosphere without suffering. Obviously this is a very long-range project, but it gives us a reason to continue striving to improve, to act in our best long-term interests and not to just selfishly pursue pleasure now. This could be the foundation of a secular religion with a noble purpose: to gradually turn the Hell that is our current world into a future Heaven on Earth. Maybe I’ve just restated Buddhism, but I think the Buddha had four noble truths and I’ve managed to reduce it to just one. And I’m not asking anyone to stop seeking pleasure; I’m simply asking people to expand their sense of self so as to maximize pleasure and minimize pain across the entire biosphere, for all time. I think it’s possible. What do you think?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hymns to Other Gods

In the spirit of the solstice season, here are some carols worthy of the Other Gods, courtesy of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blogging in the Dark

I don’t know why, but I seem to revel in spiritual darkness. Does this make me evil, mentally disturbed, or just honest? Read more of my recent blog posts, and decide for yourself...

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It all comes down to power. When the ayahuasca-drinking Amazonian tribesmen start defeating the materialist resource extractors I will start believing in the possibility of a meaningful spiritual revolution. Native Americans probably had similar delusions a few centuries ago, and look how that turned out. This world, as far as I can tell, is a wheel that crushes dreams and destroys ideals. It is a Satanic heaven, where the acolytes of the Left Hand Path rule and the slaves continue dreaming of spiritual deliverance in some far-off future, or in the next life. In this world there is no Enlightenment; there is only Empowerment.

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Have people here considered the possibility that climate change might be just the crisis we need to move us forward as a species? Didn't agriculture arise out of the climate chaos that followed the last glacial period? Aren’t evolutionary innovations much more likely during population bottlenecks? What might arise out of a new bottleneck which seriously threatens humanity’s survival? If you are a Darwinian materialist, you have to admit that there is nothing sacred about the current population of 7 billion, and it is not critical that this population be preserved. The important thing is that intelligence survives and advances, and it may turn out that this will be much easier if we are not burdening the planet with a vast population of rapacious primates.

In the current environment few dare suggest that culling our numbers might be a route to progress, but I suspect that many see climate change as an effective mechanism for this culling and are content to let nature do the dirty work for them. You can make appeals to sympathy for the poorest and most vulnerable, but I’m afraid it’s not in our neurological makeup to care about such abstractions -- you are appealing to something which is largely make-believe. I take a very harsh Darwinian view of life on this planet, but I happen to think this is the correct view when you strip away delusional religious thinking. We are under no obligation to try to mitigate climate change for all people; we are only obligated to try to save ourselves and preserve a nucleus of advanced civilization which can, if necessary, rebuild the world on more sustainable foundations.

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“Balkanized, divided, bickering”? I think we’re already there! I see the American South as a human reality that the modern progressive mind is too terrified to face: the reality that we are tribal animals whose reptilian brains still largely rule us. Most of human history is a history of tribalism, and the idea that we have, in last few decades, turned the corner on it seems rather delusional. It’s very easy to talk a good game against racism when you live safely within tribal borders, but it’s another matter entirely when you are threatened in a very visceral way every day by someone’s artificially engineered “diversity”. Tribalism is not something to toy with, or to arrogantly dismiss, as even the briefest acquaintance with human history should make obvious. Tribalism is deeply rooted in us, and has a way of exploding into violence if you push one tribe too far.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blogospheric Reflections 12/14

I'm going to start recording some of my blogosphere posts here for future reference. Today I seem to be channeling Julius Evola and other reactionary mystics, which seems to be my default mode of late...

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The true radical today is one who rejects global capitalism, techno-fetishism, shallow liberalism and the religion of progress in favor of tradition, timeless wisdom, spirituality and local culture. Modernity is played out; we are living in global Weimar, awaiting the collapse of the progressive project. The next prophet will not resemble William Ginsberg, Timothy Leary or Terence McKenna, but Adolph Hitler.

Oddly enough, this revelation came to me first through psychedelics, and it is a vision which, though I initially resisted it, has become ever more prophetic as our culture has spiralled further downward into materialistic nihilism.

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This is why we need to challenge the story of the global capitalists, who have sold us on the notion that bringing the entire world under their banner is the only route to material utopia. I get the impression that Mr. Stross is rather sympathetic to the global socialist alternative, but I would like to suggest that the most radical and timely critique of the modern world comes from the so-called "far right". Only the far rightists seem to understand that true diversity and security comes from having distinct cultures and civilizations, not from imposing a homogeneous global civilization that, if its foundations continue to prove faulty, will culminate in total global collapse.

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Really excellent post. I agree 100% about Leary; his attempt to turn LSD into a drug for the masses was in a sense a continuation of the MKULTRA experiments on a much larger scale. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Leary was operating with the approval of diabolical people in the Company like Gottlieb.

In my own rather limited experience with psychedelics, I found them to be far too powerful to be casually messing around with, and I can’t really imagine a functioning society where they are widespread. People talk about psychedelics encouraging peace and love, but for me it was just the opposite – they unleashed my “inner Hitler”. So I agree with the Aldous Huxley approach, where you have a psychedelic elite who act as modern shamans.

Having said all that, I admit I’m curious to see what would happen if a powerful psychedelic was administered to humanity on a mass level as a means of breaking toxic conditioning. It really seems possible to me that we’re approaching a point where it will literally be a matter of global survival to decondition people from destructive ideologies like fundamentalist religion and consumer capitalism, and we might have to reconsider whether some form of “aggressive mental liberation” is such a bad idea. The problem now is the West no longer dominates the world as it did in Leary’s heyday, and I see no signs of a global psychedelic prophet emerging who can challenge Islam, the PRC, Hindu- and Buddho-fascism, etc., so we in the West who value mental freedom above all else may have to consider taking more extreme measures as a matter of cultural survival...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Path of Power

The vital principal at work in the material plane is power; it is the force which drives all life upward, from primordial organic compounds to conscious human beings to whatever superhuman beings come after us. Your will its vessel, and by becoming conscious of this vital source and accumulating it without bound, you may become a god of your world, or of all worlds. This quest for godhood may be called the Path of Power.

There are infinite Paths of Power. One might walk the Path while saving a million or a billion souls, or destroying a like number. One might accumulate power without action, like the yogis and bodhisattvas of legend. One might acquire it via charitable work, sexual union, military conquest, artistic creation, political machination, athletic competition, scientific investigation, esoteric practice, occult ritual, technological invention, psychedelic experience, mass murder or religious revelation. The Paths of Power are many, and they are beyond good and evil.

Power is the divine made material, a measure of a man’s divinity. The sinner is he who is consigned to defeat, weak of will or mentally enslaved. The saint is he who seeks victory at all costs, his will of iron and his mind unfettered.

Prophets of the Path: Friedrich Nietzsche, Aleister Crowley, Anton LaVey, Bruce Lee

The Path of Power is anti-Christian and anti-Buddhist, its acolytes anti-Christs and anti-Buddhas. For while the meek may inherit the earth, the Masters of Power seek to own it now.

I propose to investigate this power in itself, rather than its infinite material manifestations, and ask: what is its nature? What laws govern its behavior? How may it be obtained? What are its limits?

Modern examples of masters of power: Adolph Hitler, Bruce Lee, Garry Kasparov, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Tiger Woods

What separates such individuals from the ordinary breed of men? What is the source of their exceptional will and drive? Is it genetics? God-given talent? Upbringing? Demonic possession? Can an ordinary man, lacking these factors, increase his own will and become such a man of power at will? Can will beget more will in a positive feedback loop, or are we stuck with whatever measure God or genes or environment have bestowed upon us? By what technologies, esoteric or scientific, may the force of will be increased?

Man is not a fallen being. Man is in the process of rising, and by his will he may rise still further, without known bounds.

There is no Enlightenment; there is only Empowerment.

The true religion of this age is the Path of Power.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Being Sean Strange

Greetings!  This is going to be my Sanctum Sanctorum here in the blogospheric dimension, my cyber-shaman's lair from which I will dispense all my ideas and visions.  I post on a wide variety of topics across numerous blogs — everything from magic and the occult to the Apocalypse, original science fiction and fantasy stories, transhumanism and the Singularity, the comic book multiverse, quasi-religious sermonizing and mystical revelation — and I would prefer to have one central repository to track my thoughts without worrying about arbitrary categorization.  This will probably be a place for more raw mind dumps and experiments in word wizardry, and less a place for polished prose.  Carl Jung created a form of self-therapy called "active imagination", wherein you allow your mind to unconsciously express itself in art or writing like a waking dream, and I'm thinking of turning this blog into an experiment in AI.  So if you don't mind a lot of self-indulgent, semi-delusional ramblings, you might find this an interesting little stop on your travels through the cyber-plane.