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The Mind of the Kshatriya

Written for Operation Werewolf by Craig Williams.

“A rush of air and a swirling of dust near the tent indicated the arrival of malicious spirits that eat corpses. Gyawo heard his own name being called by the spirits, as if a hundred owls were whispering in his ears.

‘Gyawo, Gyawo, you will be next.’

Gyawo’s heart pounded. A ghostly corpse-eater dressed in rags carrying a hatchet entered the tent. Fearing for his life, Gwayo sped off on his horse without even a saddle.

Terton Sogyal’s equipoise was as stable as a mountain during a storm. He knew that all fear and anxiety come from an untamed mind. Neither the threats of the corpse-eating spirits nor the risk of a witch’s curse could shake his stability. The task at hand required him to wrathfully subjugate and destroy fear and its many guises.”

When one analyzes the attributes of a legendary valiant warrior, the most common characteristics listed are usually strength, confidence, endurance, and perhaps fighting ability. We can envision the champion fighter in the ring, trudging through round after round of brutal exchanges of punches, blows viewed through bloodied exhausted eyes. Or perhaps the soldier as he hears the encroaching ghostly whispers of gun fire and shell blasts. Is itstrength or confidence which fuels the ability to persevere in these extreme experiences? The words of Ernst Junger evoke these feral states of experience:

“These moments of nocturnal prowling leave an indelible impression. Eyes and ears are tensed to the maximum, the rustling approach of strange feet in the tall grass is an unutterably menacing thing. Your breath comes in shallow bursts; you have to force yourself to stifle any panting or wheezing. There is a little mechanical click as the safety-catch of your pistol is taken off; the sound cuts straight through your nerves. Your teeth are grinding on the fuse-pin of the hand-grenade. The encounter will be short and murderous. You tremble with two contradictory impulses: the heightened awareness of the huntsmen, and the terror of the quarry. You are a world to yourself, saturated with the appalling aura of the savage landscape.”

In the wasteland of modernity and its commodification of souls, it becomes an actual matter of personal existence for the mind to be calm, centered and focused. I often hear of the rights of the individual yet this is something or someone I rarely encounter: the individual. As I gaze out over the barren environment of the modern world, the majority of what I see are groups of hungry ghosts huddling together in desperate hope for the preservation of an illusory status quo. An endless array of minds who are unable to grow or expand or focus on any topic for more than five minutes at a time; an endless chant of “ADD”, “ADHD”, and “Chronic fatigue”. The mind of the Kyshatriya stands in radical opposition to this mob of lost souls. In a fight between two warriors of fairly equal strength and talent, the individual with the clear, ruthlessly focused mind will arise victorious amidst the demons of pain and fear which hover over the battlefield in search of weakness.

It is of paramount importance for warriors to place extreme focus on the subject of meditation. Without a calm and focused mind, the body will eventually falter. The practice of meditation is just as important as time spent in the gym or dojo, and for the majority is the practice which is typically ignored or feared. One of the most common voices of weakness which I often hear concerning meditation is “why should I force the practice of meditation? Isn’t the spiritual practice supposed to be something which occurs naturally?” Nothing could be further from the truth. The inner practices of spiritual work must be ruthlessly and methodically confronted and implemented. Any change must be stimulated by the flames of force and desire, and the practice of meditation is no different. Stop finding excuses to not strengthen and focus the environment of your mind, stop using fear as a reason to avoid the dark spaces within which must be explored if true self-actualization is to be achieved.

I have spent over 35 years studying and implementing the meditation practices of Eastern and Western Gnostic systems. I have heard all the excuses and seen all the weak displays of avoidance masquerading as strength. Now is the time to call up the demons from the dark spaces of your mind. Befriend them, exorcise them, and overcome them. If you decide to step onto the battlefield of modernity with weak and fearful mind, victory is a dangerous and insidious mirage.  The following are the most elemental steps towards success in meditation. These steps should be implemented and mastered, practiced over and over until it becomes second nature. These are the weapons of the Kyshatriya.

Disconnect the Digital

The fruit of meditation, the clear, calm and focused mind, is poison to modernity and the status quo. To have any hope of tasting this poisonous elixir, one must eliminate the constant barrage of digital propaganda which feed into the background noise of the mind on a daily basis. To achieve any success in the practice of meditation, the background noise of the mind must be cleared of all dross and ephemera. This alone is the most foundational reason why most individuals fail at the practice of meditation; they cannot shut off the noise of the mind. The background chatter of the mind is created daily by everything you see and hear, everything you consume with your senses. Eliminate the garbage. Stop spending hours in front of the computer screen and cell phone groveling at the feet of the Techno-God. Take an inventory of your time spent in the digital world. If the total outweighs the time spent in nature, with inspiring sacred literature, or in private contemplative time, this will destroy the hope for success in meditation.

Learn to concentrate

Do not be an Adderall infused zombie. If you have trouble sitting alone and taking the time to clear the mind in preparation for the practice of meditation, don’t blame the practice. Ruthlessly examine any and all aspects of life where the inability to focus and concentrate are manifesting a presence. Perhaps it’s your diet? Evaluate and execute a simple plan to fix this. Perhaps it’s the time spent groveling to the Techno-God? Disconnect and disengage. Stop reading off computer screens and cell phones. Open a book, feel the pages, make notes on paper rather than a keyboard. If you cannot concentrate, you cannot meditate. Therefore take the time to find your areas of weakness in relation of concentration. One of the most helpful ways to stoke the flame of meditation is the practice of slow, methodical reading. Pick an inspiring text, ideally a text from a sacred tradition which is infused with power and history. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour for the entire process. Read portions of the texts slowly out loud, then repeat the excerpts silently. After this, take time to slowly write out any ideas which the text inspires within you. Read back over the notes and ponder the ideas and insights which manifested out of the dark pathways of your mind. This process should be done in silence and isolation and away from all digital stimulation. Make this practice a daily or weekly focus. Do not make excuses to avoid it or delay it as the cultivation of concentration and focus is the crucial doorway into the inner experiences of meditation.

Focus on the Breath

Take time daily to sit in calm silence and focus all attention on the breath. This should be done for 10-20 minutes in the morning and the evening. Pick a time which is conducive to this practice that will easily fit into your morning and evening schedule. If you cannot find the time to sit and slowly breathe with full attention for 10-20 minutes in the morning and evening, how can you expect to manifest greater things in life? The time spent focusing on the breath should be simple and uncomplicated. If needed, set a timer for 10-20 minutes and sit down in a quiet space. Slowly inhale while filling the belly with air, and slowly exhale while emptying the belly of all inhaled air. Focus all attention on the breath ignoring all other ideas or images which may appear within the mind. If a distraction arises, focus on the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. While this may be a simple process, no success in meditation can be achieved until one is able to simply sit and breathe. It may not seem elaborate or mystical, but it is a powerful seed which must be nurtured if you wish to find success in the deeper practices of meditation. Just as a strong well-timed punch can end a fight, so can a strong mind focused on the breath eliminate the demons of fear and weakness in the Kyshatriya.

Embrace Silence

The majority of time spent living in the modern world exists within a constant bombardment of cacophony and noise pollution. This constant attack to the senses builds up over time, damaging the nervous system and creating dissonance in the background noise of the mind. Take the time to evaluate how much time is spent immersed in artificial noise. Stop running or working out with blaring music. Listen to your breath while you train, hear the movement of the ligaments and tendons, the sound of your feet hitting the pavement. Make it a point to spend the time upon waking and the time before sleeping immersed in the silence of natural sound. The monkey mind is not used to sitting in silent meditation and will react with chaotic chatter if strong efforts are not made to disconnect from constant artificial sensory stimulation. Sit in nature, listen to the crackle of a fire, listen to the breath as it reflects the systole and diastole of your warrior heart. To achieve success in meditation, you must first become comfortable with silence. Much like a fighter must become comfortable being hit for any success in a fight to become a reality, we must embrace meditation as a practice incubating within the womb of silence which the modern world seeks to abort. Cherish this practice as a pathway to cultivate the inner flame of the Kyshatriya heart.

To achieve success in meditation, you must organize your life in such a manner as to make the success achievable. Stop making excuses and formulate a plan to conquer your inner weakness and fears and begin to sharpen the most important weapon of the Kyshatriya: the focused mind. The blade of concentration must cut away all baggage which is weighing heavy on the battlefield of the modern world. Keep this blade close at hand, sharpen it daily and wield it as needed. Your life may depend on it.

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February Challenge

In January, (article can be found HERE) our focus was on clearing out the physical space, tightening down a physical goal and a plan to attain it, and actively working on one of our negative traits. This month we will be continuing the process where we left off. First, a few notes regarding the “carryover” of our efforts from the prior month.

  1. The physical cleansing process we underwent should be ongoing. A general “decluttering” of our living space will be needful at various times, but what we should be looking at is prevention. Before we accumulate another item, let us first simply give it some thought. Is this needful, or will it improve our life in some way beyond filling a temporal desire? Are we buying just to buy, from impulse? Will this thing serve us, or will we serve it? How will it affect our space, our time, our mindset? Just being aware of these things before we add a new object into our controllable world will be beneficial for the rest of our lives.
    “Igne Natura Renovatur Integra.”
  2. The physical programming of our strength and fitness routine must be kept in our attention and adhered to ritually. Most fail at maintaining healthy eating and fitness routines because they either lack basic discipline, or they attempt to make too many changes at one time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many changes. If you are already finding it difficult to live up to the goal you set in January, ask yourself: is this a simple lack of discipline, or is it a feeling of drowning in too many lifestyle changes at once? Just like everything else, our movements must be deliberate, and contain steps toward our goal. Start simple. Eat basic, healthy food 3 or 4 times a day. Control portions by having a protein shake before your meal and ensuring you are drinking enough water. If you are trying to get bigger, eat a little more at each meal, or vice versa. For weight training, a basic template like 5/3/1 is just the thing to work intelligently but straightforward. Do 20 minutes of cardio each day after you lift.
  3. When ascertaining and focusing on our negative traits, we must use specificity. This requires self exploration. We will discuss this in more depth later in this article, but for now, just think, like they say in target practice: aim small, miss small. The more specific your view of the target you are trying to hit, the smaller your margin of error will be. Instead of saying “I lack discipline,” (I especially don’t like to use this kind of talk, as it “sets” behavior in place, by reinforcing it verbally. I prefer something like “I require more discipline,” or “I am in the process of becoming more disciplined.” Words matter.) we should look directly at the problem. Where do you lack discipline? If the answer is “everywhere,” then again, start simple. Wake up 10 minutes earlier every day, or stop using your phone/the internet at a specific time. Before we can build a big fire, we have to start with little twigs. START SIMPLE.For February, we are going to proceed in a logical direction from our clearing of physical space and will begin to clear mental space. As stated above, we are not looking to become “ascended masters” or some other nonsense overnight- we will use the same techniques that we used on our surroundings. We will move “room to room” and begin to identify and remove clutter.

    Mentally, this is easier said than done. This task will require honest introspection, which in my experience can be a very rare thing in the human being. It will require a setting aside or taming of the ego in order to be able to look at ourselves with objectivity and a certain lack of defensiveness.

    We will begin by meditating for only 5-10 minutes a day. However, we will perform this every day, without fail. Ideally, this will be done the same time each day, but with busy schedules, kids, work and so on, as long as it happens, it happens. It can be tempting to think that you need some kind of special hyperbaric chamber completely devoid of sound or distraction to perform any kind of meditation, but if this were the case, meditation’s usefulness would be severely limited. My suggestion to those with loud households is to let the family or others in the home know you’ll be in the bedroom/office/garage/whatever for 5 or 10 minutes and would like to not be disturbed for that amount of time. A set of noise canceling headphones with some white noise goes a long way toward eliminating background annoyances as well. I use the shop in my basement where I work on my motorcycle, or I go outside to somewhere without people.

    There have been thousands of books written on the topic by men and women much smarter than I am, and you are encouraged to check some out, but I’d say for starters, all we are looking to do with meditation is take a break from the constant flow of thoughts and anxieties and allow ourselves to be quiet, breathe deeply, and “reset.”

    This month, that’s about as far as we will be looking to go. In the coming months, we will begin using techniques to “target” specific areas and “do work” on the internal landscape, but for now, we will just practice the discipline.

    Next, we will use the same thought process we used to determine physical goals and programming to sort out our mental/study goals and begin to program a reading list for the year.

    Begin to list out and decide what directions of study interest you and at what pace you could challenge yourself (while still enjoying and retaining knowledge) to accomplish these goals. Break your areas of study down into larger headers, like “Art,” “Music,” “History,” “Mythology,” “Language,” and so on, with sub columns beneath each one and time frames in which you will read them. This is completely up to the individual, but I recommend that “Language,” and “Mythology” make up two of your headers, as these will play into our future challenges. Shorter is often better, so for those who do not wish to be overwhelmed, simply plan a 12 week “block.” One could then read multiple books from multiple headers in that time span and make an educated list for the next 12 weeks. Be adventurous, and keep the horizons broad!

    Thirdly, we will look at our “Heroic Blueprint,” where we have listed our positive traits, virtues and modes of being that we will look to emulate more and more as time goes on. Just like last month, we will select one, we will study it, we will attempt to grasp its meaning, and we will look for situations in which we can challenge ourselves to apply it more fully, directly experiencing its impact on our lives and beings.

    The good trait list may have been something like “Loyalty, Discipline, Strength” and so on, but this month we want to begin an exercise in specificity. We will re-imagine our list and rework it, still keeping these broad headers, but we will begin to explore them in a less vague way. Our job this month is to choose a specific situation or scenario in which that trait is positive. For example, Discipline could be broken down into “a disciplined training routine,” or “disciplined waking up time to create temporal space at the beginning of the day to perform meditation.”

“Strength,” also, needs a tighter definition, because it has so many.

What we are looking to do is break traits down into pathways.

“Loyalty” is a good broad concept, but “be a better husband” is a tighter goal, and therefore, more valuable to our work. “Be a better husband” would then split into various sub-paths like “this month I will undergo a handgun training course in order to protect my family from potential threats,” or “I will choose this month to be a more positive presence in my home,” or any number of other, more personal goals. We will break down each big concept into its seed forms, and begin working steps. Everything is like everything else, so when building ourselves, we must use the 2.5 pound weight plates instead of having a vague concept of wanting to “get stronger.”

I look forward to hearing about your progress. This work we are undergoing together will become more and more challenging, and more and more rewarding as time goes on, ultimately leading us to a place reserved for only the true, and the rare.

‘Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.’

92.

-P.W.

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How I Learned to Read

Written for Operation Werewolf by Joshua Buckley

“I learned to read durin’ my stretch. First, Spot Goes to the Farm, then Runaway Bunny, then law books, mostly.”—Max Cady, Cape Fear

I thought about calling this essay “Why I Read Such Good Books,” in homage to Nietzsche’s “Why I Write Such Good Books.” Reading good books is not the same as reading in general. Most of us read at least some of the time (fewer and fewer regular Americans read at all, but I will assume that if you’re reading this, you’re not a regular American).  However, most of this reading is sporadic and unfocussed. I don’t typically read for pleasure, and I’m not a big reader of novels—although, lately, I’ve been enjoying Bernard Cornwall’s Last Kingdom series. I also like reading biographies of eccentric and creative people (Crowley, Luis Buñuel), books on sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, studies of new religious movements (or “cults,” to put it in the vernacular), books on unexplained phenomena, and anything dealing with crime and the criminal underworld: bikers, gangsters, murderers, and prisoners. But mostly, I save this kind of reading for road-trips or other occasions when I’m too distracted for “serious” reading. My serious reading is geared towards ancient history, philosophy and politics, and the history of religion and mythology. I say that I don’t usually read for pleasure as an end-in-itself, but reading this kind of material has brought me an immense amount of pleasure nonetheless.

I am an autodidact. I dropped out of high school and moved out on my own when I was sixteen, and—besides a rather pointless year at a community college—that’s pretty much the extent of my “formal” education. Like most autodidacts, this has caused me a certain amount of insecurity. Surely, I have imagined more than once, people who went to “real” school must know a lot more than I do. This insecurity has propelled me to read obsessively, always with a nagging sense that however many pages I can turn, it’s still not enough to say that I’m really educated. Of course—and this is the irony—everyone should feel this way. That’s because learning is a process that should continue until they pry your books from your cold, dead hands, whether an academic institution has sought fit to confer a degree upon you or not. Admittedly, there are certain things you will not be able to teach yourself, although some of this depends on your own innate abilities and predilections. Many people are able to learn foreign languages on their own, but I have failed pretty miserably in all of my attempts (I did manage to pick up a tiny bit of German by taking classes at the Goethe-Institut). And obviously, you cannot teach yourself to be a doctor or a nuclear engineer, if that’s what it is you want to do.

What I am talking about here is acquiring a liberal arts education, broadly speaking. This is something you can do almost entirely on your own, either without college or as a life-long pursuit after leaving college. In fact, it might be better to acquire this kind of education on your own. It’s certainly cheaper. The college system in America has become a way to saddle young people with practically insurmountable amounts of debt before they are old enough to figure out the racket.  Worse—and at this point it almost goes without saying—liberal arts universities have subordinated real, substantive learning to social engineering and political indoctrination by people who—in a sane society—would probably be taken out and shot. In many cases, you can no longer even get degrees in things like English or Philosophy, not to mention more obscure disciplines like Germanic or Indo-European studies, as these programs have been gutted to make way for more “inclusive” options.

But just as you won’t get the results you’re looking for in the gym by haphazardly throwing weights around without some kind of program, reading deliberately requires formulating a plan. Having a structure for your reading will help you build a foundation for reading based on your narrower interests, and will push you to read things you might have otherwise missed. You may want to read a certain philosopher because his worldview fits with your own, but it’s not going to be as meaningful if you can’t situate his work within the broader history of philosophy, or the historical context that explains the philosopher’s perspective. You might be interested in the Vikings or ancient Spartans, but it can be misleading to study these subjects in a vacuum.

It’s also exceptionally valuable to read books that you disagree with. This will sharpen up your own arguments, and can open up new pathways for thinking about things. Only reading books that you’re comfortable with is like only doing exercises that you “like”: it might make your time in the weight room seem easier, but you won’t see any appreciable growth. For me, one of the best ways to accomplish these goals is to build a curriculum based around ready-made reading lists, as well as books that provide a broad overview of a subject with clues for further reading—from which I can build my own additional lists. Journaling your reading, and checking successfully completed texts off your lists, will provide you with great personal satisfaction and will help you keep track of your progress. If you’re already journaling your lifts in the gym, this should all be old hat.

What follows are a few of the foundational books I built my own curriculum around. I read most of this material twenty years ago but, as with any foundational work, they are still sources I frequently return to. You can use these suggestions, or you can devise your own strategy. But make a plan, and attack it.

History

I really like reading history but, as I said above, it’s mostly ancient and medieval history that gets me excited. I would much rather read about Tamerlane building pyramids out of human skulls to terrorize his enemies than try to figure out the labyrinthine intrigues surrounding the court of Louis XIV. So I decided I needed a way to fill in the gaps in my historical understanding. For this, I turned to Will and Ariel Durant’s magisterial Story of Civilization. The Durants spent over forty years writing the Story of Civilization; it runs to eleven volumes and is almost 10,000 pages long. The Story begins with Sumeria, Egypt, and Babylonia, and ends with the Napoleonic era. This is a shame, since the Durants intended to bring the series forward into the twentieth century. This was not to be, however, because (spoiler alert) they died of old age before they could finish.

Nevertheless, you cannot ask for a better historical overview than the Story of Civilization. Despite it’s massive size, I was able to finish the whole thing in about a year-and-a-half, partly because it’s such a joy to read. The Durants’ focus is on cultural history and ideas rather than a dry recitation of battles and long-forgotten boundary disputes between kings and their rivals. The style is engaging and conversational, and the books are full of the kind of humanizing (and sometimes salacious) stories that make reading history bearable. Once you read the Story of Civilization, you will be on pretty solid ground to examine more specific historical works that might cater more to your individual interests, and the series will help point you in the right directions as you pursue this research.

Another tool that helped me in reading the Story of Civilization was the excellent series of historical atlases published by Penguin. Much of the history that you read will make more sense if you can actually visualize the size and scope of an entity like the Persian Empire on paper. The cultures and histories of certain regions can also become more intelligible when you see where they stand in relation to other countries, land-masses, or the sea. Geography, as much as anything else, can be destiny.

Philosophy

Starting with the Pre-Socratics, Western philosophy follows a certain trajectory, with most philosophers merely building upon the scaffolding already prepared by their predecessors. You can’t really understand Fichte or Schopenhauer without reading Kant first, and Marx doesn’t make a whole lot of sense without the backdrop of Hegelianism. There are many short histories of philosophy, including one by Will Durant. Unfortunately, most of these books (including Durant’s) just aren’t very substantial.

Not so Frederick Copleston’s eleven-volume A History of Philosophy. Copleston gives an excellent chronological overview of the key ideas of every important Western philosopher, up through Sartre and Merleau-Ponty (if you want to read about more current philosophers, and particularly the post-modernists, you’ll have to supplement Copleston with other writers). One caveat: Copleston was a Jesuit—he famously debated Bertrand Russell over the existence of God—so he puts a special emphasis on Scholastic philosophers like Anselm and Aquinas. This can be a real snore-fest if you’re not a dedicated Catholic. But once you’ve read Copleston, you’ll be able to get your bearings reading almost any Western philosopher, and you’ll also know what the essential works to read are. A friend of mine who studied philosophy gave me a copy of the reading list for his dissertation program, and I also plowed through that (again, I like having a check-list). But almost everything there is mentioned (and summarized) in Copleston, so you can build your own reading plan accordingly.

Literature

As is the case with philosophy, there have been a number of authors who have prepared overviews (and reading plans) that will purport to introduce you to “the Classics.” Clifton Fadiman and John S. Majors’ The New Lifetime Reading Plan is one that’s fairly popular, and it’s not a terrible place to get started. In addition to literature, the Plan also includes some philosophy and texts relevant to the history of science, like Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn invented the concept of a “paradigm shift”). Another option is the “Great Books” curriculum compiled by St. John’s College. This consists of a four-year reading list that students must complete to earn a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. You can find the list online, and you can read everything on it for yourself (you won’t get a degree, but you won’t spend any tuition money, either).

But perhaps the Holy Grail of literary reading lists is Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon. Bloom is a famous literary critic at Yale University, and he wrote The Western Canon as a riposte to the feminists, post-colonialists, and deconstructionists (Bloom dubs them the “School of Resentment”) who have hijacked the English departments of most major academic institutions. I don’t necessarily recommend that you read the book itself. For our purposes, it’s Bloom’s reading list that is the real kernel of the text. He singles out twenty-six authors who are essential to the tradition: you should read them all. Then he provides a massive list of less-important “canonical” books, arranged chronologically, that you can pick and choose from. This list is so vast that it really would take a lifetime to finish. But if you’ve made it this far, you should be able to pluck out the titles that are best suited to you.

There are other subjects you should pursue besides history, philosophy, and literature, and, similarly, you should be able to find guides that will help you navigate without getting sidetracked or bogged down in bullshit. For a while I was trying to become at least marginally conversant in Classical music (because you can’t listen to Gorgoroth all the time) and I discovered an excellent handbook in Phil G. Goulding’s Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1,000 Greatest Works. Like The Western Canon, it contains lists of essential and less-essential compositions, and it’s easy to work through systematically. Creating a structure for your reading (or in the above case, listening) is the important thing; this is what you would get from a school, and it’s what you will need to maintain the discipline to keep learning no matter where you find yourself in life.

At the beginning of this essay I included a quote from the “intellectual thug” Max Cady from Martin Scorcese’s Cape Fear. Here’s another: “I’m better than you all! I can outlearn you. I can out-read you. I can out-think you. And I can out-philosophize you. And I’m gonna outlast you.” What more encouragement do you need?

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Kids

Written for Operation Werewolf by Joshua Buckley

The French historian Fustel de Coulanges (1830–1889) is best known for his thesis that it was the religion of ancient Greece and Rome that led to the expansion and success—both culturally and militarily—of Classical civilization. This has little to do with the mythology of Mount Olympus, of Zeus and of Hermes, which is what we usually think of when we talk about the Greek belief system. According to Coulanges, what was important for the patrician families of Greece and Rome was the household-based folk-religion that honored the lineage and sanctified the family line (a more recent scholarly take on the Greek ancestor-cult—in case you want to read more about it—can be found in the work of Martin P. Nilsson). In Greek religion as described by Coulanges, there was an ongoing dialectical exchange that took place between the living and the dead. The ancestors continued to attend to their lineal descendants as guardian spirits, while the rites and veneration of the living served to—in some sense—bestow eternal life upon the departed. This made it absolutely essential that the family line was maintained, for “the dead had no future without living offspring.” This is no less true today, even if the traditional framework for understanding these things has broken down. In fact, there is probably no greater indictment of our society than its anti-natalism. A society without offspring is a society that is quite literally committing suicide. (A Lebanese friend shared an Arab proverb with me: “History is made by the people who show up.”) But while I am more than happy to see this society collapse into the dustbin of history, we are working to build something that will survive it. We should therefore keep in mind that building tribes—and not just Männerbünde—means establishing lineages.

With that being said, and while I think that having kids is important, my point in writing this essay is to take issue with men who use the fact that they have a family as an excuse for abandoning every project of self-overcoming. I’m willing to bet you have friends who fit this description. Before getting married and “settling down,” they were interesting, dynamic individuals. After the kids show up, everything changes. This is usually around the time that men get fat, stop working out, stop reading (with the exception, perhaps, of Good Night Moon), and stop spending time with their “old” friends—meaning guys who don’t have kids, or who haven’t let themselves be completely domesticated. When you visit them in their homes—which have been predictably relocated to commuter suburbia—you will notice the slow but steady replacement of every artifact of adulthood with plastic toys, indoor jungle gyms, and sippy cups. It’s as if the house now belongs to the children and the adults are just there to service their needs, like employees at a Chuck E. Cheese. Going on “vacation” now means visiting theme parks where other “adults” wear cartoon animal costumes—that is, if there are any vacations at all, because “Geez, kids are expensive!” At the gym where I practice martial arts, guys who used to train consistently will suddenly disappear for long stretches of time, offering only the lame-ass excuse that “Hey man, I have kids.” And?

There is no doubt that having children will change your perspective and priorities, and it should. Nature has hardwired us to love our children more than we love our friends, our parents, or even our romantic partners, and this makes perfect sense from an evolutionary standpoint. I feel an acute kind of revulsion for any man who would abandon his own children, and you can probably relate to this if you have kids of your own. One consequence of having children can be an increased emphasis on safety and security. Another is an attitude of self-abnegation that men will express when they say things like “I’ve sacrificed everything for my kids.” This is supposed to sound virtuous, and there is certainly an element of virtue in it, because once we have children, we are no longer free to be entirely selfish or self-absorbed. But is it really virtuous to sacrifice “everything” for your kids?  It certainly sets up a vicious circle. Did my parents “sacrifice everything” for me, so that I could “sacrifice everything” for my kids? Am I “sacrificing everything” for my children so that they, in turn, will “sacrifice everything” for my grandchildren? This only makes sense if we apply to human beings the logic of a stockbreeder, whose only goal is to produce more animals.

For us, the goal should be to live lives that surpass the lives of our parents, and to have children that we can dream will one day surpass us. This is how our tribes will grow not just in numbers, but in power.

In the Old Testament, God “the Father” is presented as an angry, vengeful patriarch. He is jealous, insecure, and capricious. He is kind of a dick, actually, and as many other thoughtful people have pointed out, not really the kind of guy you would want for a dad. His son, Jesus, or at least Jesus as we meet him in the Gospel of Matthew, is somewhat more like a “modern” father, with all of that talk about “turning the other cheek” and not “judging.” Certainly, this is the Jesus of contemporary Protestantism (whether or not it has anything to do with the Biblical Jesus). Modern Jesus, like the modern father, is mostly just there to be a friend and comforter—part life-coach and part therapist. But as Alain de Benoist has pointed out, in paganism the gods do not have the same paternal character as the Christian God. They are neither abusive and judgmental “old school” fathers, nor are they sappy, sensitive “modern” dads. The gods of paganism are there to serve as exemplars and role models. This is why great heroes, through a process of historical and mythical transmutation, could actually become gods. The gods are there to inspire us and to provide us with the strength we need to become more than what we are. This is the destiny they have apportioned to us, although it is up to our own exercise of will to seize it.

This is also how I see our role as parents. Of course we need to be there for our children, to care for them, provide for them, and discipline them. This can, in and of itself, involve a considerable investment of time, money, and, in many cases, heartache. However, you are not doing your kids any favors when you give up on yourself in the process, whether or not you imagine that you’re doing it on their behalf. Odysseus might not have been the best father in the world—in The Odyssey, he leaves his son behind in Ithaca when he sets out on his adventures—but Telemachus could have done a whole lot worse than having a hero for a father. This is borne out at the end of the epic, when father and son are reunited, and Odysseus encounters his son as a grown man and an equal. Instead of settling into a life of bourgeois complacency, be a hero to your kids. Train more. Learn more. Struggle more. Develop yourself more, so that your children have something to aspire to. Then, when you die, you might have descendants who are worthy of tending the fires burning over your grave.

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Wolves of the Kali Yuga

Humans of our age are infected with a passive cynical worldview that signals a great decline in the fire of the spirit. They are caught up in the endless loops of negativity and fear that spiral outward from the minarets of the Empire’s media centers, the constant message of EVERYTHING IS WORSE THAN EVER. The sports stars and sacred whores, talking heads and singing prostitutes, offer the alternative- a morphine drip of music and dance, that the citizen of Empire might chase the dragon of distraction and fall into fitful slumber. Caressed by the leprous hand of comfort, their aim for us is to work, consume and die- a mass of overweight American flesh and tax money that the ageless corporate cabals feed on like vampires until our unnoticed death.

For the citizen, the Thrall, no morning mantras of power are sung, as the eyes are caught in a wash of electronic light from smartphone videos showing murder, rape, torture, riot, earthquake and a thousand perversions.

No calm strength is cultivated through meditation in a silent grove, as earbuds deliver the thump and spew of top 20 tunes straight to the brain, filling the mind with simple words and base desires.

The ritual of meeting the sun has no place in the rat race rush to wage slavery, chase that dollar, always on the hustle, grind hard, hashtag workhardstayhumble.

This belief in nothing has become a fashion statement, a sort of hipster nihilism, signaling with the one hand their practiced cool emptiness, while the other preaches empathy for the brotherhood of man, just as false and rehearsed. A “Fuck Everything” T-Shirt and a

“I Stand With the Victims of Whatever Great Crisis Has Shown Up As Trending On Facebook This Week” tattoo, cognitive dissonance for the sake of popularity in a venomous peer group, always seeking to out-virtue the others, to care harder with their next Instagram post. Remaining on the cutting edge of what is “not okay” in order to form an ever tightening elite of the Most High, while preaching inclusiveness and equality of all.

We must stand against this, wolves of the Kali Yuga!

Bite the hand that seeks to lull us to sleep, rage against passivity and false virtue-

but do so with your actions! It is not enough to be a malcontent who can spell. We must recreate the warrior caste, knowing that the external war is fought second. Our primary directive is a battle against ourselves, our base desires and the weakness of our “Thrall mind.”

We must be rooted in ritual and gaze on the world around us through the eyes of one who sees the world as a living mythology, in which the parts we play are retellings of the stories of the gods.

While realizing the possibility of “the great truth is there isn’t one,” we understand that this kind of nihilism is an active one, that centers us with the resolve to inject this cosmos with our own meaning and purpose, aligning ourselves with a narrative of power and fire that speaks to us at our deepest level.

Instead of an over-indulgence in drugs, alcohol, entertainment and other distractions, we must sharpen our minds to razor edge, and build our physical forms into temples- living representatives of a vital and savage paganism that recognizes iron and blood as holy sacrament!

We must seek mastery of ourselves and our skill-sets, pouring thousands of hours into self-betterment and transformation, knowing that enlightenment comes only from grueling, brutal labor.

Recognizing that the highest good in the world is the increase of our own power, we look to ally ourselves with only those who are dedicated to this same ideal, constantly seeking betterment and leverage in this world, and through the pooling of resources, we begin to make ourselves even more powerful.

When enough men and women undergo the life reform to follow this narrative, the world will resonate with that collected will, and begin to transform in turn, in our image. We understand this, and attack the work with a relentless and tireless passion, and we call this living and growing mythology Operation Werewolf!

92.

-P.W.

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The Root of All Evil

Written for Operation Werewolf by Joshua Buckley

For Marxists, economic relations are believed to shape and maintain virtually every other aspect of human life. Capitalists, on the other hand, have a different view of what economic relations should look like, but share the Marxist conviction that the economy represents the highest ordering principle in society. The idea that every other value should be subordinated to the primacy of economics—which is often referred to as economism—is anathema to us. Like our ancestors in Indo-European Antiquity, who relegated the mercantilist classes to the lowest rungs of society, there are any number of things that we value over and above strictly financial considerations. The shortlist would include virtues like courage, brotherhood, loyalty, and honor, but it would hardly end there.

Nevertheless, there is a tendency for people on “our side” (and I use this designation very loosely) to equate the rejection of economism with an attitude that almost seems to idealize poverty. They will attempt to make a virtue of their own financial failings by acting as if they’re somehow too noble, or too “spiritual,” to even bother thinking about money. When someone else succeeds in carving out a manageable living (or, as is more often the case, some small pittance) by making music, writing books, or creating art that these people purport to care about, they will respond by declaring that said individual is now a “sell out” who “only cares about money.” Of course, this behavior is partially motivated by resentment. Tell a few friends about your trip to Europe, or that nice bottle of bourbon that you and your wife/girlfriend just finished, and at least one of them will respond with the reliably cringe-worthy “must be nice!” Yes, it is nice, asshole. It is all the more ironic when this sort of thing comes from people who claim to be “pagans” or “heathens,” because it smacks so much of Christianity (as Nietzsche observed, ressentiment is the driving force behind the Nazarene’s slave morality). A pagan is comfortable with all of the “worldly” things that the Christian rejects, and there is nothing quite as worldly as money.

But what is money, really? Gold bugs will decry the modern monetary system as a fiat currency, not backed by a physical commodity like silver or gold. The argument for the gold standard is based on gold’s historical track record as a reliable source of value. There may be some truth to the claim that gold holds its value better than an arbitrarily-issued government currency, but the idea that gold has any more intrinsic worth than paper money ignores the fact that, in the end, a Krugerrand is just a hunk of metal that has value only because people have decided that it has value. Of course, we all understand that this “value” is a stand-in for something else, and that something else is power. This is not to say that money is the highest form of power, but it is a reasonable barometer of worldly success. And, as in other power relationships (and let’s face it, all relationships are power relationships) money can make us sovereigns or it can make us slaves.

When you don’t have adequate access to money, chances are you’ll find yourself in one of two situations: either dependent on the generosity of others (or worse, dependent on the State) or working yourself to death at menial jobs just to get by. In the first instance, you have clearly abdicated your own power. If you are completely dependent on someone else (and especially someone outside of your own immediate family or tribe) for your personal upkeep and maintenance, than there is a certain sense in which that person owns you. In the second instance, you are literally working like a slave. Slaves are fed, clothed, and otherwise provided for by their masters. If you are spending all of your time working just to pay for basic essentials, than how is your situation really any different from that of a slave? Furthermore, low-paying menial work is, quite literally, soul-crushing. In my early twenties, I worked on a framing crew during the day and in a shipping warehouse unloading trucks at night. I told myself that I could get up early, or stay up late, to read, write, or do the other things that I felt were meaningful. Sometimes I managed to pull it off. Mostly, I was just too tired. My time (the most valuable asset that any of us has) was being siphoned off by people I couldn’t have cared less about.

Ironically, high-earners often fall into a similar trap. The danger here is that money will become an end-in-itself rather than a means-to-an end. One of the tricky things about money is that the more you make, the more it will seem like you need. I have often marveled at the phenomenon of extremely rich men who spend their entire lifetime building up a fortune that vastly exceeds their own, or even their children’s, ability to spend it. This kind of behavior resembles nothing so much as a junkie vainly chasing after the rush that first got them hooked. As you become more affluent, a similar pitfall involves buying “stuff” that only has value as a signal of status. But pursuing recognition based on material possessions is the ultimate fool’s errand. That’s because there will always be someone with a bigger house, a fancier car, or a trophy-wife with higher-end cosmetic modifications than yours (I am being facetious, of course). What’s more, the kind of people who are impressed by this sort of thing really aren’t worth trying to impress. All of this is greatly exacerbated by the fact that the dominant culture (notice I avoid calling it our culture) is constantly encouraging us to take on debt. By going deeper and deeper into debt, you can acquire the appearance of wealth without necessarily having any. Soon you will find yourself working just to service your debt, and you will be no better off than the poorer man who works at things that he hates just to satisfy his basic needs.

Whether you’re working just to get by, with no time for anything else, or whether money has become like a drug that you pointlessly consume, the power that money represents has become a power over you. The first step in breaking this power—and in putting it to work for you instead—is to start thinking about what money is for. In slaveholding societies, it was a common practice to allow slaves to buy their freedom; basically, the slave could pay a set amount of money to reclaim ownership of himself. This should be our goal as well: to use money intelligently to free ourselves for the things we really care about. Essentially, there are two ways to do this. The first, and probably the ideal way, is to figure out how to monetize the activities that you want to be doing anyway. This might involve opening a restaurant or a gym, a tattoo studio or an auto-repair shop. Many of you are writers or musicians, and it has never been easier to self-publish and sell your own work online, often with little to no start-up money. The important thing here is not getting rich (although it’s certainly possible), but rather to figure out how to satisfy your basic needs without wasting your entire life in the process.

The second—and perhaps more ambitious—way to buy your own freedom is by creating passive income streams that leave you with plenty of non-working hours. This might involve accumulating rental properties, or buying small businesses like self-service car washes or Laundromats that generate money without requiring full-time maintenance. My own personal long-term strategy involves a mixture of these options. I hope to build up my small publishing business into something more financially viable, while continuing to manage real estate on the side (instead of the other way around). Of course, all of these strategies involve acquiring at least some capital to get started, which means having a financial plan you can begin to implement now. Although I don’t endorse everything he says (you will have to ignore all of the Jesus-talk, for example), the popular financial writer Dave Ramsey is not a bad place to get started. That said, one of the biggest practical steps you can begin taking in the near-term is to always live below your means (this is the exact opposite of what the average American does). Do not buy the biggest house or the most expensive car that you can. Do not status-signal by acquiring “stuff” which will only get in the way of your greater goals, and never buy “stuff” using credit.

Finally, if you get to the point where you have extra money to spend, spend it on things that will increase your real status as a free and powerful human being. Spend money on books and education, jiu jitsu and boxing classes, gym memberships, tactical training, and travel that broadens your personal horizons. Whenever possible, avoid giving your money to marketers and corporations. They are the Enemy. If it’s feasible, buy books, clothing, music and other products from friends and fellow-travelers. One of my personal indulgences is buying artwork, and I never begrudge the money I spend on art because I know it’s going to support people who are trying to live their own dreams, outside the produce-and-consume economy of the System. Encouraging a network of mutual financial support that will help all of our comrades to buy their freedom is one of the first steps we can take toward building a nation.

Money is neither the Highest Principle—as the overlords of the Inverted World would have it—nor is it the “root of all evil.” Like a gun or a knife, money is neither good nor evil, but a tool. Although he was speaking about war, the words of Heraclitus ring just as true about cold, hard cash: “some it has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free.”

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