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.
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.
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.
Embody those ideals to the hilt, wildy, breathlessly, with heart.
Become an archetype.