What follows is the first piece in an ongoing project I will add to with works in various formats that will combine into a coherent whole.
It will lay out a kind of “hero’s journey” for the modern age, in an ordered process, as well as tools needful for the way.
Whoever you are, I hope you find it useful.
If you’d like to support this endeavor directly or follow me on other platforms you can do so at the link below:
The time we live in is one riddled with fear, anxiety, ignorance, decadence, and uncertainty.
It seems that every day things are “worse than ever,” and certainly, this is a message broadcast again and again from the minarets of the media towers, and repeated in both the marketplace and the temple.
Holy men in luxury cars chant the gospel of terror in their megachurches and mosques, neon laser show prophets, reaping the profits from the fearful masses they are meant to shepherd.
The market dictates ultimate value in these times- money is the highest pursuit, and gurus measure their success by the number in their brokerage accounts.
The government grinds a jackboot into the neck of the poor, throwing ever-dwindling reserves of fossil fuel onto the fires that burn continuously in the major cities of the empire, this bloated and diseased Leviathan that thrashes in its death throes.
Race riots. Pandemic and plague. Overpopulation. Identity politics. Neverending war over resources and ideologies in the streets and in the sands of far off places- while the profiteers leer in ivory towers, war pigs well-sated on the blood of the youth.
This is the Iron Age. The End Times. The Kali Yuga.
And yet- although some of our struggles are unique to our time and place in history, things are cyclical.
If we are in the end times, it has been ending for thousands of years.
Ancient religious texts spell out that they believed then the same that many believe now-
THINGS ARE WORSE THAN EVER.
Perceived golden ages were riddled with the same depravities and decadence that we see now, albeit in different formats and alternate systems of delivery.
The internet has not created any new perversions that the ancient Romans would have been shocked or scandalized by, it has merely allowed freer access.
Our awareness of the crawling sickness that was once relegated to the darker corners of our hearts and minds has become absolute- we can see it everywhere, every day, every time we turn on the “news,” and it fills us with fear and loathing, an unhealthy curiosity and obsession with seeing “the worst.”
This technological horror-show addiction is like the opiate addict- a dose that would have originally killed is now only enough to see the addict through the day, and he seeks out higher and higher doses of the blackest filth in order to “get well.”
At the same time, we have thousands of “experts” smugly shaking their heads, claiming that the things we know somewhere deep within ourselves to be foul and wrong are not so at all, and in fact “perfectly normal.”
Each year, there is less on the scale of “depraved and sick,” and more moved over to the side of “perfectly normal,” perhaps even “brave,” or “heroic.”
Even as mental health across the globe is suffering death by a thousand cuts, these illnesses are worn like badges by the cult of victimhood, each one seeking to outdo the rest, proving their individuality and uniqueness by the nauseating color-spray of madness medallions worn proudly on their chest.
As they do so, loudly shrieking their sicknesses to the world for sympathy and validation, they yet require you to accept their opinions and ideas as sacred law, with the one breath acknowledging how hard they’ve struggled with chemical imbalance and personality disorder, with the next condemning you for devaluing their words or ignoring their holy edicts.
Absurd notions of blind equality vomited forth in the same breath as favorites are chosen and other flavors are discarded into the gutters, depending on who the media’s darling is this week.
“All are equal. All are the same. All are one.”
“Be quiet. Don’t rock the boat. Go with the program. Maintain social capital.”
Get fired. Lose your house and friends.
Be silenced in the digital bazaar, and forever have your ability to buy and sell crushed in the fist of our benevolent overlords.
These are your choices.
The kind face that tells you you’re all equal is the same one that impassively looks on as a drone strike kills women and children, or an individual is “doxxed,” loses their job, maybe their house or family for an opinion that was unpopular this week.
You’re all equal to them.
One number is the same as another.
One rat in a swarm is indistinguishable from the next.
Your job here is eat the trash in the gutter, to become bloated on the free meal you’ve been given- to watch the glowing cube, to login and molest yourself to painted meat slamming together, to sleep the fitful sleep of the peasant, and return to your labors until you break your back, crush your spirit, rinse, repeat forever.
“It’s perfectly normal.”
We must reject this kind of normalcy.
We do not want this “normal.”
Although this world may always have been running on a one-way rail to hell, it does not do to simply be a malcontent, “raging against the dying of the light.”
Malcontents are boring. Wagging a finger from an imagined moral superiority, while doing nothing but condemning everyone and everything around them in an ever-growing spiral until they are a walking virus of negative energy.
Rebels and outlaws- these are not boring.
In this day and age, in every day and age, our only solution to what surrounds us is simple:
To reject, and in rejecting, to create an alternative.
Not to stick our heads in the proverbial sand and say over and over, “this is fine,” but to be artists, to be gods.
Like Shiva in his dance of destruction and creation and to say, no, we will not accept this ugliness, this bleakness- we will eliminate it from our lives and our hearts, and in its place, we will sow the seeds of what is strong and beautiful.
Where we see sickness, we will look to heal it and make it well.
Where we see despair, we will not surrender, and we will share our courage with others and it will spread.
Where we see isolation, desolation, and death-
We will create connection, community, and new life.
Any and all who are creatures of beauty and love and strength, are by nature hated and reviled by the egregore of this toxic age- but they are also its antidote.
Unlike those who oppose this righteous revolution, we do not define ourselves by what we hate, or what we are “against:”
We are defined by what we love, by what fills us with purpose, and meaning.
We strengthen our resolve not by sinking deeper into the morass of base anger and dissatisfaction, but by deepening our loyalty to our chosen comrades, by deepening the layers of meaning and mythology within our communities, and knowing true purpose in the eyes of our brothers, our sisters, our lovers, our children.
But these things will not simply come to us.
We must prepare ourselves for a long and arduous endeavor, a Herculean task worthy of an ancient epic.
The task before us is holy.
It is to create a new world.
In the coming months, I will do my best to present what I believe are ingredients that, when distilled and taken as a whole, are the antidote to the sickness plaguing this modern world.
At the outset of this journey, I want to present you with a mantra that is the first of these ingredients, something that you can hold onto in the darkest of moments as a torch against the encroaching blackness.
It can be repeated like a prayer, and I want you to know that it is true when you speak the words to yourself, or tell them to others.
It is true because you and I know it to be true, and it becomes more true the more times it is repeated, and the more people it is repeated by.
“There is still hope; and I am not alone.”
As long as we follow the banner of heart, and of courage- as long as there are two of us, even if only you and I, marching for the twin flames of loyalty and truth, our cause cannot fail.
Let us become “a banner of hope, in the face of despair.”
– Paul Waggener, Spring Equinox 2021|