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Your Relationship With Violence

Wolves in Cascadia. Photo by Peter Beste

You’re walking home from the bar after being out with some friends til the small hours of the morning.
Feeling some of the effects, you’ve made a good call by opting out of driving, and are conversing with your significant other, enjoying the evening air.

Although the streets are mostly deserted, the area is well lit, and you haven’t given much thought being prepared for any type of encounter, since you assumed you’d be driving to and from your destination.

With another mile or so to go, you glance over your shoulder and notice that there are at least two figures following you from several blocks back, hooded sweatshirts, hands in their pockets.

Not wanting to alarm your partner, you begin running a quick assessment of your surroundings and your gear, immediately considering what can be done to even the odds should the situation go south from here.

As you are running this mental prep list, another figure rounds the corner ahead of you, illuminated starkly in the streetlight. Footsteps pound the concrete behind you, and you realize you are about to have to fight for your life.

Consider the above situation.
Put aside all your internet tough guy shit for a moment- it’s just you and me, cowboy.
How anxious does it make you when you really imagine the scenario above?

I’ll start: It makes me pretty anxious. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you are not Josey Wales meets Jason Bourne meets Mark Chopper Read- I’ve been in almost the exact situation described above, more than once in my life, and each time, I am not ashamed to say, it produced the kind of adrenaline response that only comes from deep, primal fear.

But fear is not the same as cowardice- cowardice is surrendering to your fear. Bravery is using it to attain victory or at the very least, mastering it enough to get out of there alive.

To quote a popular novel:

‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”
That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.’

Considering our relationship to violence is an integral part of a man’s self-examination process.
Like it or not, violence is a big part of being a man on an evolutionary level- whether you have a close relationship with it in 2016 does not discount the fact that your genetic line is still intact today because of your ancestors familiarity or skill with it.

From the caves they crawled out of to tribal warfare in forgotten aeons, into the pages of remembered history where men have died in innumerable droves on battlefields often not of their own choosing, men have always had to find a way to outlive the rest.

Whether through superior skill at dealing death and making war, or an unquenchable and iron will to survive and outlast, our ancestors paved the way for us to exist. Therefore, our way of life and understanding of our place in the world must at least give consideration to the possibility that at some point we will have to confront violence and death head on.

The average police response time in America is between 9 and 12 minutes. The average streetfight or violent encounter lasts between 5 seconds and 2 minutes, often with little or no respite or opportunity to even make the call, assuming you are the type of person who would call law enforcement in the first place.
This brings me to the actual point.
How would you fare?

Even in a one on one confrontation with someone who has decided to oppose you, who eats clean, trains 3 times a week in boxing or MMA, doesn’t poison himself with cigarettes or excessive drinking- would you stand a chance?

How about your friends?
In the prior scenario, if you had 3 of your pals with you, and it turned into a 4 on 4, all out conflict, would they be able to hold their own and punch their weight? Or would they quickly be dismantled by a superior foe, letting you down and forcing you into an outnumbered and outmatched war that you have no chance of winning alone?

If the first answer holds true, congratulations. You have chosen…wisely. You are surrounding yourself with lions, men who truly uphold the concept of Operation Werewolf, that of making themselves more capable, fearsome, and strong every day.

If the second answer is the more likely, then you are wasting your time with weaklings, parasites who rely on you, but provide no symbiosis. Remove them as you would with any bloodsucker.

If you yourself fall into the category of the under-prepared, think about how much you are dishonoring your peer group by being the weak link in the chain- a liability, like a child, who must be looked after and protected because you are not up to the task yourself.
If this concept fills you with utter disgust and shame, do the right thing and turn that into momentum- become what you respect. Be the kind of man that you would want with you in any situation.

Video games and popular movies and television are filled with examples of men who do things the way we wish we could. We watch them impotently from the couch while getting fatter. While you
“level up” in some digital fantasy world, someone is out there doing it for real, and I promise you, no matter what your girl tells you (if you even have one), she doesn’t think all those muscles and decisive actions are “gross” or “too macho.” Think about nearly every male leading actor, even in “chick flicks,” for the last 20 years or so. It’s not coincidence they are cut out of wood, chiseled and jacked, decisive, capable- in short, manly.

A woman’s desires are not purely individual. They, like us, have been shaped by evolution, and no amount of social engineering can undo that. What do you think she wants in a scary situation or a home invasion? Your dad-bod and knowledge of high thread count, cruelty free, locally sourced hemp shoulder bags? Not bloody likely.

Here’s the thing, fellas. No matter who you are, or how hard you think you are, there is someone out there who is training harder. Someone that someday, you might have to prove yourself against because they want your money, or your woman, or they simply decided they were going to fuck you up.

Those individuals who will read this and scoff, or say that this is an outmoded way of thinking, riddled with “toxic masculinity,” with no place in today’s society- I would respond that you have clearly lived a life of what the PC crowd refers to as supreme “privilege,” and that just because you haven’t experienced brutal, savage, bone crushing violence yet, doesn’t mean that you won’t. Never isn’t here yet.

I can only hope that you find yourself one day in a situation that calls for quick, decisive and violent action to save your life or that of someone close to you. Let me know how it pans out.

Photo by Peter Beste Photo by Peter Beste

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Simple Rules for a Savage Existence Pt. II – Identifying Negative Relationships

Photo by Leonardo Albiero, Dire Dogs Division, Italy. Photo by Leonardo Albiero, Dire Dogs Division, Italy.

A lot of the people in your life that you call your friends may actually be huge pieces of shit who are only interested in whining, soaking up your energy, wasting your time, and keeping you at their level.
You might call them your friends because you feel the need to have a group to fulfill certain basic requirements of man being what Aristotle called “a social animal.”

You might also keep them around because you have known them for a long time, or because you are currently unaware of how a real friendship should operate.

A real, healthy friendship is a wonderful thing to have. In the Norse poetic work “The Havamal,” it says the following about how a friendship is both won and sustained:

With raiment and arms shall friends gladden each other,
so has one proved oneself;
for friends last longest, if fate be fair
who give and give again.

To his friend a man should bear him as friend,
and gift for gift bestow,
laughter for laughter let him exchange,
but leasing pay for a lie.

To his friend a man should bear him as friend,
to him and a friend of his;
but let him beware that he be not the friend
of one who is friend to his foe.

Hast thou a friend whom thou trustest well,
from whom thou cravest good?
Share thy mind with him, gifts exchange with him,
fare to find him oft.

Young was I once, I walked alone,
and bewildered seemed in the way;
then I found me another and rich I thought me,
for man is the joy of man.

We can see here that they believed the best way to keep a friendship was with an exchange of gifts, a sharing of the mind, a frequency of time spent together, and a loyalty to the friendship at the expense of those on the outside of it.

I’d say this is a pretty good standard.

The key word here is EXCHANGE. Far too often, in both romantic and platonic relationships, one side provides the work, the other side benefits, and leaves the giver both embittered and drained, exhausted from the vampiric nature of the so-called friendship, marriage, whatever.

One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to keep a critical eye on our involvements with other people, and evaluate whether there is healthy exchange, or no give and all take. Identifying time wasters, energy vampires and the chronically negative and removing them from our lives with a simple “Fuck off, we’re done here,” is a freeing and stress-relieving action, and will make you a better person with a more fulfilling life.

The following is a list of characteristics often found in both friendships and romantic involvements that are unhealthy and should be terminated with extreme prejudice:

They just want to “hang out.”
Hanging out is the province of the unmotivated, the great social pastime of the underachiever. If all your friends want to do is hang out, especially if that hanging out always involves alcohol or drug use, TV or movies, they are more than likely one of these.
Good relationships are based around mutual interest and being allies in conflict. If your friends aren’t interested in lifting weights with you, martial arts, hiking, camping, riding, getting out there and chasing down excitement, adventure and a better life- cut ’em loose. Find new friends at the gym, on the trail, through competition. They will better serve your long term plan than these shuffling cunts you’re hanging with now.

Chronically Negative.
Those who whine a lot deserve the worst things in life. If your friend or significant other is always bitching about things instead of stoically handling them or looking for ways to change them, give ’em the boot. This is not to say that a certain amount of healthy venting to a trusted pal is not ok- but there is a difference between the occasional venting and a constant onslaught of moping, whining, victimized bullshit. A “poor me” mentality is one of the most poisonous and exhausting things to be around. No time for this.

Loudmouths and Drama Queens.
People who are always starting shit, or bringing that shit into your life should be shaved, sterilized and destroyed. There are enough problems out there that you have to deal with without having that friend who always seems to either create more, or bring theirs into yours.

Identifying this type of blood sucking leech and burning them off of you will save you time, hassle, and maybe even your life! I have had friends in the past who were essentially just a liability. Everywhere I went, I had to worry about how drunk and stupid they would get, who they would make an enemy out of that I would have to help them deal with since I was “honor bound” as a friend to do so.

Fuck all that. You are honor bound as a man to remove these people from your sphere of existence and deal with your own on your terms.

Likewise, a female who is constantly creating and bringing drama to your doorstep like a stray cat with a dead baby bird? Ditch the bitch and move on with your life. These people feed on the sense of self importance they get from making themselves a tornado sweeping through the trailer park of life. Avoid.

The Perpetual Party-goer.
Habitual and constant drinking is one of the biggest wastes there is. I know firsthand just how destructive and useless of a habit this is. It kills your wallet, your brain cells, your liver, and your ability to enjoy yourself without it.

Friends who only want to be around when there is a party, or who are always trying to go to the bar are not friends. They are attempting to drag you into a mutual addiction because misery loves company. This goes for every type of drug use.

If you are going to party or drink, I am certainly not against this (far from it! No X’s on these hands yet!)- however, I force myself toearn it. Make sure if you’re going to crush that beer, you’ve crushed the gym all week, made progress in your training, had a good week of business or pursuing other positive endeavors. It will make the beer taste better, and you are less likely to engage in binge drinking because you know it is a hindrance to your goals.

A Quick Word on Romantic Relationships.
This topic should probably have its own article, but for brevity’s sake, I will just ask this:
Does your woman respect you, treat you like a god in public and private, subscribe to your values and make your life less stressful and more fulfilling?

If you cannot answer yes to every question, the only option is to cut her loose immediately.
The preceding questions, however, rely on the life you live. If you are not deserving of that treatment because you are weak, submissive, fat-bodied, directionless, broke and lazy, then she should’ve cut you loose a long time ago.

The only way to attract a solid female is to be solid. Instead of wasting time on Tinder and other degenerate dating sites, jerking off to porn and wishing you could find “a good woman,” take a long critical look at yourself. Are you worth a good goddamn? Why should any woman want to be with you? First, make yourself worthwhile. A good one will come along. It’s essentially the same as doing good business. If you are providing excellent content, customers will follow. If you are providing useless garbage, don’t expect your stock to go up.

Get out there and make something of yourself, and cut out the rot.
XCII

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Only Death is Guaranteed

Only Death is guaranteed.
Because of this, there is no need to live life carefully.
I always hear people say things like
“In another life, I’d have loved to do x or y.”
They sigh and utter,
“Maybe in a few years.”
“If I have enough time.”
Here’s the thing, friend-
You won’t.
There is never enough time to do whatever it is that you wanted later on.
There’s never another opportunity to do what needed to be done now.
Soon, the final grains will slip through the glass.
You will die in bed, hooked up to machines
Or in your sleep, and your children will be grateful. Unburdened.
Your regrets will not include the the nights you chose to stay up late around a fire.
The time you spent with friends and lovers, ecstatically chasing your dreams.
You won’t be thinking: “I’m glad I decided to go home early that night,”
or
“It’s a good thing I didn’t talk to that stranger, take that risk, throw that punch.”
Your regrets will be all those things you didn’t do.
All the I Love You’s you never said.
All the hours you bartered away for more money, only to have a half-full wallet and an empty heart.
Each and every time you said “no” to life and “yes” to servitude.
If you didn’t do it for the story, what the hell were you doing it for?
If there’s nothing to talk about at the end, how the hell will you be remembered?
Life is sweetest when Wild and Free-
For only Death is Guaranteed.

XCII

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Simple Rules For a Savage Existence

Testosterone is a hormone secreted from the testicles of males, and to a lesser extent, a female’s ovaries.
It is responsible for a man’s muscle and bone mass, regulates his physical and mental energy, his libido, sense of well being, and so on.

In other words, high testosterone good, low testosterone bad. There are many health dangers that stem from low testosterone as well, that are beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say, any man who wants to live life to the hilt should aspire to a lifestyle that naturally raises his test.

For those who are raising it chemically, through the use of anabolics or testosterone replacement therapy, the following can be looked at as simple rules for a savage existence.

For the rest, what follows is a set of hard and fast rules for raising the testosterone and enaging life with a mindset that embraces strength and health. Nietzsche knew a thing or two about this when he suggested that the proper mode of living included:

“a powerful physicality, a blossoming, rich, even effervescent good health that includes the things needed to maintain it, war, adventure, hunting, dancing, jousting and everything else that contains strong, free, happy action.”

Essentially, his list contains what doctors and experts on the subject would agree are the fastest ways to a higher testosterone.

The first big killer of test is being overweight. An overweight male can expect up to a 50% decrease in his testosterone, depending on genetics and severity of his obesity. There is no sugar coating this one. If you are fat, your immediate course of action is to stop reading this, get off your disgusting fat ass and hit the weights or the track. Preferably both. There is no magic pill- only diet and exercise. The good part is that I have personally witnessed some pretty miraculous transformations occur over the span of as little as 6 months to one year of life reform. This is not something that is out of your reach, it is simply currently beyond your will, which you have allowed to become as atrophied and flabby as your body.

I’m going to do you a favor and tell you everything you need to know about losing weight and getting fit right now:

1) Go to bed earlier, and get up earlier. Use the extra hour to go on a fasted walk first thing in the morning, before you do anything else.
⦁    STOP EATING BULLSHIT. This is pretty obviously going to be a major factor. Immediately cease eating food with tons of processed sugars. Stop drinking soda, you suicidal bastard! Eat 3-4 small to moderately sized meals throughout the day consisting of a healthy balance of carbs, protein and fat. If you are grossly overweight, cutting your carbs to a minimum, and only eating them before and directly after your workout is the ticket to reducing bodyfat.
3) Train with Barbells. Pick up any basic lifting program that favors barbells, or shoot a message to⦁    ironandbloodbarbell@gmail.com and talk to me about a training program. Prices are extremely reasonable. Don’t waste my time, and don’t waste your life. Get started today, or be this way forever. Your choice.

That’s it. I just gave you basically everything you need to stop being a land-whale. Now it’s your call to get with the program. Even you guys out there who don’t think you’re fat, but have some love handles or excess belly fat- it’s killing your test levels, too. Try fasted walking while listening to a podcast (I recommend Jack Donovan’s “Start the World,” Justin Garcia’s “The Pressure Project,” or something like “Hardcore History,” to maximize time and learn something while you shed fat and turn yourself into a machine built for war) and timing your carbs as stated above. They are easy ways to really get after that last little bit of stubborn adipose tissue.

The second enemy of cock-hardening, muscle building levels of test: not enough sleep.
Sleeping less than 5-6 hours a night lowers your testosterone to that of a man 10-15 years your senior.
A few pointers on getting better sleep-

Turn off your goddamn smart-phone. The light produced by computer screen and that little witch-brick you are staring at kills your ability to fall asleep. Make a rule that you will stop looking at that thing an hour before bedtime. Not only the light is problematic, but the fact that you are forcing thousands of megabytes of useless data into your brain, checking messages, notifications, raising your blood pressure by checking that time-wasting thread where you decided to argue politics or religion or natty lifters or whatever. Knock it off, power down your magical tattle-stone and read a fucking book. Remember those?

Take a cold shower. It cools your body down and gets it ready for sleep.

Sleep in a cold room. Good for test production, and also promotes better sleep.

Sleep in the dark. If you don’t want to look like a serial killer (although why wouldn’t you? Maybe you can finally get an 8:30 res at Dorsia, you fucking stupid bastard) and wear one of those lone ranger blindfolds, invest in some heavy blinds or curtains, shut off any little lights and LEDs- combined with the colder temps, your room should now resemble a Neanderthal’s sleeping quarters. To complete the vibe, I recommend some decaying hides and maybe a scalp or two.

Remember- better sleep, better test.

Third, it seems that because of the internet and shit like video games, Netflix, and so on, men are spending way more time at home, ensconced in their gaming thrones, talking on little headsets to people they will probably never meet, raising the “stats” of their little electronic man, while ignoring the fact that one of their important stats is plummeting!

Too much time out of the social loop is problematic for a few reasons- one, it promotes sedentary activities. Two, it reduces interaction and competition with other males. Third, it reduces your contact with women, who, if they are ovulating, can raise your T-juice SIMPLY BY SMELLING THEM. If that isn’t some primitive witchcraft, I don’t know what is.

Probably, you shouldn’t roll up on random women and smell them, although I have used this technique in the past to pretty good success- but simply interacting and talking with females that are potential sexual mates raises your test. So, put down the controller and go out and compete with males and smell some attractive females- you might even try talking to them. I think this is considered pre-requisite for most potential breeding/mating situations. I tend to use grunts and gestures.

On this topic, I’d like to say that Tindr and whatever other “swipe right” app you may be using to get your jollies in, is probably decreasing the amount of time you spend out there on the hunt. It’s an important part of the process to approach strange women and talk to them, with all the possibility of victory or failure, that engages our hunter/gatherer mindset and raises our hormones. A Tindr hook up is some space age, Matrix-style, science fiction, de-humanizing bullshit- and no matter who says otherwise, they know it to be true.

Lastly, the high test male spends a great deal of his day in physical endeavors, and engages in outdoor activities as much as possible. Hiking is exercise, exercise is good for the test, outdoors means (usually) sunshine, which means vitamin D, which means more testosterone. This is why everyone gets all ready-for-action in the summer time. An increase in sun equates to a higher hormone production, which leads to more sex, which leads to more test. A closed circuit system of elevated T.

He should also practice martial arts, as this is the most direct and obvious way of physically competing with other men. I recommend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai/MMA, although rugby and other high contact, masculine sports of yore seem to produce knuckle-dragging archetypes of brute strength as well.

There are plenty of other ways to optimize levels through diet and so on, and we will cover some of this in future articles. Those of you who are reading this and not lifting (I doubt it. If not, shame on you. Stop being a pathetic worm.) should obviously be doing so in order to stop disgusting your ancestors and alienating potential friendships with people who matter.

In summary:
Lose fat.
Move around.
Go outside.
Compete physically with men.
Smell women. (Or talk to them, or whatever.)
Lift weights.
Become legend.

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Discipline and the Divine Madness

Photo by Peter Beste.

I’ve heard it said that in this life, anything you choose to do requires you to sacrifice something else. We are in a constant process of weighing and trading, with the scales holding on one side time, and on the other, desire.

This is a difficult realization for many, and harder to accept, that in our flickering existence, we will only have the time for a finite amount of activities and experiences before our flame is extinguished forever.

The question that invariably begins to eat at us: which ones are the most valuable? How will we ensure that ours is a life of fulfillment, each moment spent wisely and not just sand spilling futilely through the hourglass?

The answer is that we cannot be certain of anything, but armed with this knowledge, we can at the very least attempt to squeeze every drop of hot blood out of the veins of this transitory and awesome reality that we have been given. Consider the very idea that we are conscious beings, pulled from nothing inexorably towards nothing- our existence like a white bird flying through a great hall, from one window and out the next, with only darkness at our beginning and ending!

Photo by Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue. Photo by Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue.

How could we, facing this awful and incredible concept, allow our moments to pass us by as we spend all our waking hours enmeshed in the sterile constructs of the internet, the stifling banality of the 9-5 wage slavery, the body growing soft, the mind growing feeble, the will atrophied like a pale husk? We must be filled with a righteous and holy wrath against the mundane existence, the wasted moment, the chronic inactivity that this enervating world promotes. Our fire must burn eternal, even after our bodies are dust, our name must live on as a legend to inspire and light this mighty blaze in those who come after.

My heroes have always been individuals whose lives were extreme, bordering on, or fully immersed in obsession, passion, insanity, single mindedness- utter hedonists or strict disciplinarians, libertines and totalitarians. Give me madmen, musicians, martial artists, writers, murderers- but give me passion above all else!

Morrison, Barger, Bukowski, Machiavelli, Redbeard, Howard, Lovecraft, Musashi, Manson, Marquis de Sade, a parade of names that conjure up excesses of various kinds, men who lacked balance in favor of fanaticism. I say, tip the scales in favor of the extreme, the inspired, the frenzied. Balance can be valuable in some areas, but a life lived for sinking the teeth into life’s tender throat cannot concern itself with using balance as an excuse to avoid experience. I would argue that men who have lived their lives in accordance with the concept of balance are less remembered than those who lived by the watchwords of iron and blood, fire and death, might and madness

Windborn on two wheels. Windborn on two wheels.

There is an important theory in the world of the magician that involves the reconciliation of opposites. In nature, we see that there is day and night, growth and death, a rising and falling, that which is now strong must become weak- but there is a force, unseen, that keeps this pendulum swinging between the two. It is the discovery of this force, and a unification of these seeming opposites that lies at the heart of the occult sciences- and for this reason, these extremes and “opposites” must be explored to their pinnacle if they are to be understood.

For this reason, life should be lived in a series of extremes. Cruelty and mercy, love and indifference, Discipline and the Divine Madness, “gigantic mirths and gigantic melancholy.” It is not a way recommended for all, but for those who walk the road of the Wanderer, the lone explorer on the frontiers of existence and spirit, it is necessary to leap directly into the flame, without lingering at its edge.

This is not an excuse to linger and wallow in excess, and only the base would see it as such. It is a edict to live each day to the utmost, to challenge oneself to greater heights, to go into unknown places and unseen worlds. To have self discipline so strong that what was once our discipline has become our desire. To have an unquenchable lust to live and love and to burn with an awful and ferocious joy that is contagious and crazed.

The best way to know ourselves is to burn ourselves completely in the fires of ordeal and action. From there, everything we choose to add back to our blackened bones is known to us.
Know who you are by choosing who you will be.
Create yourself.
Embody those ideals to the hilt, wildy, breathlessly, with heart.
Become an archetype.
Live forever