At first I was afraid of the pain. It makes sense. Caution is wise when something new is upon you. And patience too. To be unsure, to wait it out, to dip a toe in the black pool and have a safe space to recoil. All of these are wise decisions.
Yet the day will come when the passage of time has done all of the healing it can. Time alone does not heal all wounds, and anyone who tells you it does is a fool. Once you have something of a stable foundation again, the days and days waiting for inner-pain to go away become wasted opportunities to get back onto your feet. You cannot know when you are ready to go back out (though your body will give you indicators, or guesses). So you will just have to try it for yourself, to trust your defences and trust that you can take what comes and have the self-love and inner-strength to make it. Do not go it if you are not ready, but do not stagnate it you are.
Wait and you will wait forever.
The world is full of suffering. There is no denying it, and anyone sensitive to it will feel it. Pain is unavoidable and inevitable. Thus, one way or another, the time will come when you will fall into a spiral of pain which dominates your consciousness. It is not a ‘mental’ thing – it will permeate all aspects of your body and mind. It will come when it comes, and you will not be able to just will it away.
I would rather face those days of reckoning as one who is trained to face my fears, then one who hides behind shields of repression, or naive hope in the passing of days. And so I did.
When the pain came and took over my body I could not turn it away, and why should it leave on my account? Does it not have an equal right to express itself through the human corpus? Is it not also a part of me? When the pain came and took over my body I stopped resisting it and accepted its presence. I went deeper into it, explored it, and this hurried its course toward resolution.
The black pool is there, waiting for you. Ignore it and you will see it in dark dreams. Dive into it and you will come to know it wholly.
It will return again, the pain is recurring. There is no end point of healing and no end point of anything. But when the inevitable returns again, you can become more and more adept at dealing with it. I have no ultimate choice in what I feel and when I feel – I do not think anyone has that much freedom. But when the storm comes I will ride through to its eye, through to the other side.
Face things, do not let them linger. Confront and challenge things; at your own pace, but swiftly enough to not lose your social life, hope and ambition to them. Human beings evolved on the plains to hunt in packs. They did not evolve in arm chairs and in front of laptop screens to wait and rot.
You were born to hunt, to be an element in nature, so go and hunt. Only, this hunt is not for some animal, it is a quest into yourself for truth, for what truly happened, and the path to changing yourself. I have changed so much since the pain came and I learnt to hunt so much for the better.
When something inside screams, listen. The longer you leave it, the worse your demons will grow…
i) The closer you get to the dragon’s lair, the easier your quest becomes? Oh no, no, no, no. The nearer you get, the harder each step.
And the more you understand of the world, the more sensitiely you grasp the magic linking all things together, the stronger you get? Oh no, no, no, no. The more sensitive you are, the more risk you stand of being hurt.
ii) There is a consolation. Things act in fractal systems; psyches, families, societies. Change one element and the others have to change, forced to evolve. You do not need to critique everything, overcome everything, fight everything, re-build everything.
Start within, work your way without. Watch the house of cards fall, and get ready for ruin and rebirth.
iii) The hour draws near. You do not know what you will do when you get there, only that you will do something. And you have the strength to triumph (you know this somewhere deep inside, beyond self-knowledge). You are not some lacklustre rebel. You are a truthseeker, with the mandate of a fairer world and superior future (the imperfect heavens).
Game-ender, change-bringer, king-slayer.
Your castles are made of air, your sword and shield are thoughts, your people are phantoms, all you have is your
and your mind. These things , they can overturn the order of a psyche, of a family, of a society, of a world, with a whisper.
With no-where to retreat, you must push on.
iv) Contained within one flake of snow are tiny versions of the same flake, repeated over and over and over as the perceiver is drawn deeper and deeper into its infinity.
What leads people to moral depravity? For everywhere, in every age of mankind’s history, depraved people have hurt those in their care.
Seed ————————————-> Entitlement —————————————> Action
A seed is planted A dictator rises to power, establishing the right to depravity
To perceive depravity is possible from without. But is it easy for the depraved to see the export of their actions?
Group ———> Not-group
Perceiving one as unlike oneself is a core root of depravity. Anything goes with the ‘non-people’.The best of mankind is in the tribe, but so is the worst. Collective depravity is ghastly. Is it the result of a depraved few leading others to war for their own warped sense of power?
It is tempting to turn this on its head, and de-humanize the de-humanizer. Who cares if Trump loses everything and becomes homeless? Who weeps at a Hitler’s grave?
Seed —-> Plant —-> Form —-> Addiction
Moral depravity as gradual process. First the dictator locks up a dissident. Then he locks up ten. No backlash and little protest. So then he kills a dissident. Then ten more. By now he has no qualms. He will destroy more and more lives to maintain power, so long as he is not resisted.
‘The shattering of the greatest temple starts with the breaking of the tiniest taboo.’
Moral depravity as addiction. The above dictator might not even realize how he is sliding into moral depravity. The norms of acceptibility and morality as gradually shifting, until they reach obscene levels.
Depraved acts —-> Gradually more depraved acts —-> Normality
Normality is the heart of depravity. The normal people are the enablers of life’s worst ills. Their collective moral cowardice is tangible in the prisons and the estates. Their collective moral cowardice is war, death, famine and depraved atrocities against women and children.
The status quo, therefore, is innately depraved and requires annihilation. The most shit-spreading people on this world have the cleanest teeth and the nicest appearance. Be not fooled by such vanity. Evil and depravity wears a suit and tie.
Depraved order —-> Annihilation —-> Rebirth
I will end on a happy note. Hidden depravity always surfaces, for truth will always tunnel for the surface. The lie is always exposed, the old order always collapses. The only question is – how much damage can it do before its inevitable demise? Hasten the victory of humanity by daring to see, daring to say, and daring to challenge.
Depravity cannot triumph, it is being pushed back and back by the legions of humanity. We will not stand for it anymore. We will not stand for cover ups and authoritarianism and the status quo and the crimes behind closed doors. We know the truth now, we are forming together, we are gaining in strength. The eyes of the just shine upon ever darker quarters. We keep on seeking out injustice, for our gaze alone can turn it. Mankind is learning not to tolerate depravity, the hiding places of the dictators grow ever fewer.
Soon they will shrink to nothing…
Now I am a note of chaos
In the symphony of order
A madman and an idealist.
In less than a decade
I will be a visionary
And a hero of mankind.
They know this
The corpses who hold on to power
Yet til the bitter end
They will waste the lives of their vassals
And tear the land apart.
Power knows not past, present, future
It is timeless, like the depths of the mind
Irrational, lost, desperate, screaming at the void
Like a child, for more, more, greater hoard
For fame, and followers, golden things, nations at its clawed feet.
Power knows no reverence for life
And has no love for the beauty of the galaxy.
But the tyrant always falls
For ‘mad-folk’ like me are always born,
And the people always triumph,
The only question is when.
They hate me, for I am change-bringer
I am truth-wielder, I am death-howl,
I am game-ender, I am a note of chaos
In the symphony of order.
On the eve of Lammas, Gylfanon crossed the Gnarred Plains and first reached Mawrend’s cavern, gazing down at the entrance. Smelling the sick scent of sulphur and burning bones, he turned his steed and sheathed Nightcleaver, bringing his cavalry bodyguards with him.
On the eve of Imbolc, Gylfanon again reach Mawrend’s cavern. This time he dismounted, handing the reins to his page, drew his broad black sword and ventured down the first corridor. Something inside his skull urged him to turn, to turn back with haste. He followed that impulse.
Half a year passed and again on the eve of Lammas, Gylfanon reached Mawrend’s cavern. With little fear he dismounted and made his way along the first, natural cavern corridor. Skulls and bones and scorched armours lay all about, at the portal to the deeps of the reptile’s lair. Gylfanon pondered sending in scouts, but decided not to risk it. Mounting his steed, sheathing Nightcleaver, he returned to Castle Gylfax.
On the eve of Imbolc, Gylfanon returned to Mawrend’s cavern. Fearless he strode into its maw and along the first corridor. Tentatively he made his way through the portal, and there slumbered the great drake Mawrend. The beast slept, but the Black Prince thought better than to try his luck, trusting in his twisting gut. Ordering his impetuous knights to stand down, they left grumbling.
On the eve of Beltain, Gylfanon returned to Mawrend’s cavern. Never had his men seen him so confident as he dared the cavernous entrance, bestrode the dark corridors, ducked through the portal entrance and drew Nightcleaver, brandishing the terrible blade and roaring in defiance. Mawrend, woken from a deep dream, instantly bowed his neck in service.
All of the bones lying about the Reptile’s lair, they belonged to the ones who did not listen to their fear. They were the ones who understood not how to battle the unknown. Gylfanon was wiser, the alpha and the omega. He won a powerful reptilian ally and a lifelong friend from his understanding.
Feeling trapped and hopeless, you only have to ask yourself one question. The answer to this will determine whether or not you will remain trapped until your body expires, or whether you can change your circumstances. The question is thus: do you want to move forward?
Do you want to take one small step toward your freedom and happiness. If the answer is yes, then you are not truly trapped, nor are you without hope. By taking one small step in the right direction, you are upsetting the cage surrounding you. By taking one small step in the right direction, you are disproving the ideas within and without that you are unable to do anything.
It might feel like a futile step. It might feel like a stab in the dark. But there is nothing wrong with that. There are two reasons to be optimistic about your one small step. The first is that it demonstrates a functional conatus. This nice Latin word is a key concept from the philosophy of Spinoza. Effectively, the essence of any mode (or thing) is its desire to continue existing. Everything has a conatus – a person, a snail, a chair, a wall, a molecule. Everything. By attempting to gain more freedom, you are affirming your will to survival. More than that, you are increasing your power-in-the-world. Your one step forward is not just an intellectual exercise, it is an execution of direct action. You are safe in the knowledge that you are doing what is best for you, and this is a sign of self-love. The second reason to be optimistic about your one small step actually comes from a lack of knowledge. Namely, scepticism about cause and effect. You never know how much of an effect your own small step will take. I liken this to a questing knight, roaming through a harsh cavern alone. She does not know what lurks beyond, but she isn’t going to get out by staying where she is for too long. So, she has one certainty; shield raised before her, sword on guard, she must push forward whatever may come. And this ‘whatever may come’ is a great question indeed, and there are too many variables for it to ever truly be known. Therefore, knowing that the only certainty is to move forward, you can push through the darkness never truly knowing if it is a futile gesture, or will eventually lead to something good. By chance or fortune, the path must reach somewhere.
Looking at my own life, I can see two massive turning points, both small steps. One was setting up a philosophy stall which made no money, at a time when I was ‘trapped’ and living in near absolute poverty. Through the stall I happened to meet someone who saw a light in me. That person, six years later, has helped me find work which will help me survive in this horrible capitalist system without selling too much of my free time. At the time, on the morning of setting up that small, I could never have envisioned meeting her or the effect she would have on my life. The second turning point was around five years ago, volunteering to help plant some birch saplings on a common. I quickly became attached to the saplings and became their primary caregiver. When developers came to destroy the common and the trees, we dug the young woodland out and potted them up. Fortunately a team of cool squatters rode in on their skateboards (true story!) and occupied an abandoned car wash where we could store them. I was ‘trapped’ in a flat again, but eventually took the plunge, bought a tent for eighty quid, and joined the skaters! My first experience of squatting was a huge dose of freedom, which eventually led me to Grow Heathrow; a place of near-total freedom. Those are just two examples of massive positive impacts on my life, growing out of small deeds.
I do not believe that all oppressions are in the mind of the oppressed. That is letting the moneymen and the militaries and the heartless psychopaths who run society off the hook (lol Theresa May). It is also ignoring the sheer negative effect of material deprivation, and our simple mammalian need for warmth, love and nourishment. But there is some degree to which we can oppress ourselves. For in the dark ichor of our minds we might miss the small degree of freedom in us. We must first unmake the ‘woe is me’ attitude, stop engineering the universe against us, and instead recognise where we are disadvantaged and how we will overcome it with our comrades. For freedom, and hope, is simply represented by the will to continue; the will to keep on crawling forward and fighting evil come what may. No one and nothing can extinguish that – it is our essence. Even if it seems we are throwing eggs against a castle wall, it is something; a symbol of resistance and therefore self-worth. You can always manage this, however small a gesture it is.
If you are feeling trapped, as I sometimes do even now, hold on to this light of hope. You are still breathing, and you still have awareness. The seemingly patterned world around you – though it may seem like a solid block, an eternal fortress where there is little of hope or justice – is actually in flux. However slowly it may seem to be evolving, it is. Massive social change could be just around the corner, a tyrannous King could be just about to die of a heart attack, the waves may soon rise and change the priorities of shallow civilizations.
The love of your life might be waiting for you the next time you stand at a bus stop. You will only know if you go out there to meet her.
Bestial, something lurks inside. It wants to crawl along the ground, strength in its arms and legs. It wants its flesh to touch the earth, to source whatever power lurks there.
Bestial, it is the thing that is insulted when your toes are trodden on, your status diminished, your territory invaded. It pulses inside, waiting just beneath the surface of consciousness.
Bestial, it once charged at prey or fled predators. Now men are its predators, and the hate-filled abusive words are their javelins, and the pitiful look is the death-blow.
Bestial, it is an infinite well of courage. It is fearless; for fear exists only within one who wants an unnatural, painless time-span, but the bestial is at one with its suffering.
Bestial, it turns male heads to follow her walking. It longs to escape itself in the clutches of another, it is the fiery fuel for the raw deeds of carnal animals.
Bestial, it is far beyond notions of civility, good and evil. It is the vengeful pulse that wants to tear its enemies apart with fang and claw, a dark-furred savage of unmatched might.
Bestial, it is our primal dignity, and our undeniable nature. Human beings are animals, fooled into thinking themselves something more than the world around them; fooled into thinking they are worthy regents of the earth.
The bestial knows that is must work with the earth, not against it. The bestial knows that fellow animals and plants have as much a soul as any man. The bestial already knows the connectedness of all things and the true sanctity of life – to take it only in the direst circumstances.
I am bestial, a proud beast who walks, crawls, thrums, stares up at the moon, howls and sighs.
‘It is not the sufferings of winter that cause us to quail in this world
It is the evil of warped good, and the secret slaves of the false god.’
As the shadow of the South creeps ever closer to the realms of men, Winter grows more furious. The forests at the Edge of the World begin to gnarl and die, giving way to flood and landslide. The rivers grow sick with grief, and mountains are torn asunder for the stones and minerals within. Wealthy factors in the cities increase the price of wheat and corn, as Lords tighten their belts and raise their taxes. The ‘Dorian Alliance is tested to its limits as delegations stop visiting the Grand Councils and Calls to Summons, becoming more suspicious of their neighbours. Priests and monks of the Old Faith still attend solstices and celebrations, but pilgrims and fanatics come in lesser number. Corruption in the Temples is rife.
This is an age of cynicism. Trumpets of doom are blown. Brother grows suspicious of brother, peasant collectives begin to fragment and turn against their own interests.
Avagoth raids intensify on the borders, the steeds of many warlords reaching as far as the Inner Cities. With diminishing armies and plummeting morale, the Alliance brings in ever more desperate measures – Orcish mercenaries to quell the anger of their own people. It is a short-term solution bound to spread resentment. People start to question where their civilization is going and whether there truly is an eternal, celestial order to things. Those few who profit from the increasing struggle are the only ones with any power, their miserable souls slowly evolving into demonic aspect, their fangs feeding on millions of poor and desperate.
Only Gylfanon, the Dark Prince of Gylfanys, goes on the attack. Looking to expand his Kingdom, he forges links with the Lorcanians of the sacred wood. He avoids the worst of Avagoth raids by promising his barbarian “friends” power and land in his new domain. Turning warlord against warlord, Gylfanon’s knowledge of Avagothic clan politics spares him much grief. In his own lands he makes it illegal to raise the price of grain, and threatens the wealthy factors and their private guards with his furious league. Many flee to neighbouring lands, and Gylfanon’s council take their wealth and estates, distributing much of it to the needy. Yet more volunteers step forward to take up spear and shield for their prince, yet more weeping maidens stitch great banners of valour to be carried into battle.
At first he only aimed to frighten his neighbours into compliance, but quickly Gylfanon gained in confidence. High-Priest Furion secretly joined him, and advised he begin the Dark Crusade of Vengeful Truth, to turn the armies of evil away by any means possible – even turning the weapons of evil against itself! In a moment of revelation, Gylfanon realized how much his own inner-darkness and suffering was a source of strength. Caused by the evils and inequalities of men, it is rage enough to overturn his oppressors. Deep inside that nihilistic tendency lay the fearlessness to face death.
As news spreads and champions gather beneath the black and red Gylfan banners, the five brothers of the Turcans respect the brazen might of bold Gylfanon and his wise council. The Scyldlings send him gifts from the Northern Ice, mighty frostblades, and a pair of armoured mammoth to serve as his battle-steeds. Many creatures emerge from the deeps, drawn to his pulsing soul, understanding the speech of his beastmasters. And much are his loyal volunteers, among them Thugul and Au Ko, and even a few companies of the hardy Dalf Byorn tired of the decline around them.
On the attack, Gylfanon gains momentum, and the Dark Prince is seen as a hero of Hy-Selasia, even by his enemies. But those enemies are great; The six warped, mind-controlling giants who rule over the still, ancient domains of Ivis. And the King-in-the-Crystal, the single most powerful man of all. He commands no army, yet his believers are many, and they have many armies. Their hearts gripped by tightening despair and irreverence for nature, they know only anxious obeisance to their cruel King.
It is almost time to put ideals to the test. It is almost time for battle.
Gylfanon hands his diamond broadsword to his lieutenant, the silent and bold Halbard. Delving to the depths of the ancient armoury of the Nagothi, he seeks a greater treasure. A dark creature of Elvish aspect waits there, hidden beneath a robe of samite, and he holds in his naked hands a long, serrated sword. Clutching Nightcleaver to his chest, Gylfanon prepares for the ultimate battle, not against the true, inevitable darkness, but against the warped light which casts an even greater shadow.
Something stirred in the stillness of the stone tomb. Granite scraped against granite as a sarcophagus slowly opened, by its own accord.
A dusty, broken hand of bone slowly rose out, moving its fingers as if for the first time. An arm clad in rusty mail followed, and then a being wholly skeletal. Its helmet was dulled by time, heraldry smoothed away by its centuries-long slumber. Its plate mail was rusty and discoloured. Small snatches of cloth, once covered in embalming fluid, were all that remained of his tabard and robes, and his leather scabbard had thinned to a rod of brass.
The ancient knight rose to full height in his tomb and stood alone, his stone home dimly lit by the misty light of the moon. He gazed around with distant longing, then he took a few creaking steps. Stumbling, the knight righted himself, his gait unbalanced by his broken limbs and deathly stiffness. Something of instinct still remained inside, guiding him like a dim whisper. He reached for the arched portal of the tomb, placing his skeletal hand against it. With fury he pushed, his strength mighty, but nothing moved. With a slight shrug, the ancient knight turned and grabbed the double-headed axe hung above his sarcophagus. A brief moment of remembrance filled him and he cocked his head, wrapping his fingers tight around the iron shaft of his old weapon.
The door to the tomb started to splinter and break, until it collapsed outwards. Walking out into the frozen night, the ancient knight heard armour clanking, bones creaking, dusty wails, breaking stone, the flap of a thousand tiny wings and the distant cry of doomful wolves. It was as if vengeance itself was rising. His brothers and sisters too were awakening into dark night.
And they were legion.