Photo by Andreas Feininger
This is from a talk I gave in Austin in 2015. This was the year L (50) by the Aeon of Set calendar and had been dubbed simultaneously the year of Leviathan and the year of Liberty. This was the same gathering where Stephen Flowers gave a talk on Zarathushtra, and I seemed to get some huge sense of congruence with Libertarian ideas, and the Mazdan ideas about our existence here being based on a fundamental voluntary act. I started working on the Morality of the Left-Hand Path pieces shortly after this, so this talk might be considered a ‘prequel’ to those.
There is an audio for this somewhere too which I’m looking get out on a future episode of Daimonosophy 2.0, but in the meantime here’s the transcriptional version.
A teacher was teaching her second grade class about the government, so for homework that one day, she told her students to ask their parents what-the-government-is.
So when Little Johnny got home that day, he went up to his dad and asked him what the government was.
His dad thought for a while and answered, ”Look at it this way:
I’m the president,
your mom is Congress,
your maid is the work force,
you are the people
and your baby brother is-the-future.”
”I still don’t get it” responded the Little Johnny.
”Why don’t you sleep on it then? Maybe you’ll understand it better in the morning,” said the dad.
”Okay then…good night” said Little Jonny and went off to bed. In the middle of the night, he was awakened by his baby brother’s crying.
He went to his baby brother’s crib and found that his baby brother had taken a crap in his diaper. So Little Johnny went to his parent’s room to get help. When he got to his parent’s bedroom, he looked through the keyhole to check if his parents were asleep. Through the keyhole he saw his mom loudly snoring… but his dad wasn’t there.
So he went to the maid’s room. When he looked through the maid’s room keyhole, he saw his dad having sex with the maid.
Little Johnny was surprised, but then in a flash of inspiration he exclaimed, ”OH!! Now I understand the government!
The President is screwing the work force,
Congress is fast asleep,
nobody cares about the people,
and the future is full of s**t!”
Leviathan and Liberty
But I don’t think the future has to be shit. I don’t think that part has been written yet. It can be different; there can be more liberty, more freedom, more independence; rather than more mechanicalism,
I believe the Temple of Set has an important role to play in making that future happen. In fact I tend to think of it as part of the Temple’s Wyrd.
In this year that Ipsissimus Webb as dubbed a year of Leviathan and Liberty, I want to pause for a moment to consider one of the most enduring and well-known American symbols of Liberty, the Statue of Liberty.
There are many fascinating aspects of this colossal example of neoclassical sculpture. Erected in 1886, it’s a representation of the Roman Goddess Libertas and around her is inscribed the American Declaration of Independence. The seven rays of her crown form a halo – evoking the power of the sun,
In her left hand she holds tabula ansata – a tablet of evoking the law – and in her right she hold aloft a flaming torch – a mighty light and burning-flame-of-comfort.
And what of that light that she bears, that beacon she holds so firmly. Certainly this is not merely ordinary fire, no simple lamp for practical navigation. But given its context – and the fact that so many thoughtful men of exceptional values and integrity had a hand in the statue’s construction – this fire must bear some special connection to ideas like liberty and independence.
To me it reflects an old story about a Supersubstantial fire of ancient and cosmic origins; the same Fire that the 2nd Great Beast called down from the sky in Revelations 13:13 and the same fire that Ra En Set summoned with the Book of Coming Forth by Night in Santa Barbara in 1975.
It’s the same fire, the same holy fire that Noah’s Great Grandfather Enoch accounts beholding in the large house of crystals, in the apocryphal Book of Enoch….When he states,
…I went to another place to the west of the ends of the Earth. And I saw a burning fire which ran without resting, and paused not from its course day or night but blazed without respite. And I asked, saying “what is this flame which burns unceasingly?” Then Raguel, one of the holy Angels who was with me said, “This is the Dark Fire in the West which persecutes all luminaries of Heaven.”
Persecutes, that is, the enemies of liberty, independence, and consciousness.
Before Enoch it was the Greek Titan Prometheus bringing the fire down to man. In Plato’s Protagoras, is recounted that after the gods had molded men and other living creatures with a mixture of clay and fire, the two brothers Epimetheus and Prometheus are called to complete the task and distribute among the newly born creatures all sorts of natural qualities.
Epimetheus sets to work, but, being careless and unmindful, distributes all the gifts of nature among the animals, leaving men naked and unprotected…unable to defend themselves and to survive in a hostile world. Prometheus then steals the fire of creative power from the workshop of Athena and Hephaistos and gives it to mankind, liberating him from animal existence with the fiery substance of independence, inspiration, and invention.
And even before all that buried somewhere deeply in our racial memory we recall that it was Lucifer gathering the Daimons of the Diabolicon around the Black Fire.
As the Daimon Azael spoke: on Earth, where man wandered in mindless bliss, the firmament blazed forth with fiery tongues, and all the land was covered by the Black Flame, which burned not, though it be-wildered the eye to see it.
And Raphael and his guardian Angels were dismayed, for nowhere could they see man or the spirit which had come to him. Then did Raphael call upon Michael to strike the Black Flame with the force of God, but even then was the Flame vanishing of its own accord. And at first it seemed that Earth was unchanged, but in the eyes of man did Raphael see the first gleam of thought.
And Raphael turned to Michael, who had now answered his call, and said, Satan hath come to Earth, and man is no longer pure in the sight of Heaven, for his Will hath become his own.
What finer expression of Liberty is there, than that ones will has become ones own.
It is not a guarantee,
Its not a given,
Its not a matter of birthright. No Monotheistic or Monarchical despot stands to benefit from your independence,
Rather, it is something that must be
And if these other mythological patterns are to be taken as relevant, this self-born will is something that occurs only as a result of consummation of the Black Flame.
I’m gonna say it again…“for his Will hath become his own.”
Become… is one of the simplest translations of the Aeonic principle of Xeper; reminding us here that a certain sense of liberty and independence occurs only as a result of Xeper.
While the force of Runa and the wish for being may lead us toward the promise of the Light of Liberty, it is only through Xeper – itself an alchemical combining of substance, energy, and purpose – that a higher sense of Liberty and Independence may be experienced.
Now Again I think of the Statue of Liberty, and the solid, almost martial gait, as though preparing-for-conflict. Perhaps against a legion of anti-conscious and anti-liberty angels lead by Masleh, (or maybe Karl Marx), and the forces of
This idea of an energizing substance that inspires freedom, will and liberty runs throughout history. And here also the idea that we – both as a race and as individuals – must first find that fire – that Supersubstantial Fire – before we can start seeing by it’s light.
And you start to see, that in all these stories is the idea that we really-are–unable to find and integrate it completely on our own…We need help…We need Help from the outside. Help, from others who have gone before. Help from others who have learned to carry the fire within themselves, and to hold it aloft as beacons in the night;
…as have the Priestood of Set.
We are all as blind men before the force of Runa begins to draw us toward-the-Light of Liberty; and simultaneously draw the energy of the Black Flame…toward us. When these forces all finally converge at a single point in space and time we for a moment awaken and see that there is a possibility for Liberty….a possibility for conscious, willful existence.
The idea of an energy stream associated with liberty is not limited to ancient mythology, or to our contemporary the narrative of the Black Flame. The pattern emerges in many other works on society and economy, many of which seem to drink strongly from the stream of Enlightenment era ideas.
Isabel Patterson, a Canadian-American Journalist, novelist, political philosopher and literary critic of the early 20th century, developed an energy model of history.
In her master-work The God of the Machine, she argues that the material and spiritual well-being of man requires the free flow of energy through the structures of society that encourage individualism; noting also that whenever government regulation blocks that flow, human progress is devastated.
As she wrote:
“ Nations are not powerful because they possess wide lands, safe ports, large navies, huge armies, fortifications, stores, money, and credit. They acquire those advantages because they are powerful, having devised on correct principles the political structure which allows the flow of energy to take its proper course.”
In seeking an answer to the question of why some societies throughout history had enormous scientific and material development while others stagnated, Patterson makes an acute study of ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, and the American Founding. In all cases of highly charged victors, can be seen that superior political structure. A structure that allows for, even encourages, individualism, freedom and entrepreneurialism.
As she writes:
“The only difference between past and present in respect of energy is quantitative, a higher potential available at a higher flow, which makes a wrong hook-up more appalling in its effect by the given ratio, becoming apparent literally in a world explosion. The principles of the conversion of energy and of its appropriate mechanism for human use cannot change; these are universals.”
And in regard to history’s failures she observes:
“The Society of Status is obliged to restrict production to the energy potential it can accommodate. It does so by collectivism. Group ownership as the norm of property requires the denial of liberty to persons”
Another 20th century thinker, Wilhelm Reich, studied the suppression of energy by authoritarian movements via scientific method. In his early work the Mass Psychology of Fascism, he makes the case that the intentional suppression of certain qualities of energy in a society consistently result in the expansion and growth of authoritarianism.
From the Catholic Church to the Nazi Party to ISIS; from the doctrine of original sin, to our public schools and overcrowded Federal Penitentiaries – it is in the vested interests of all power possessing groups – to control and/or suppress the flow of liberating energy though out society. If studied closely it may be seen that many of the features and institutions of governments and religions in the end really serve no other purpose than to repress the people and advance the authoritarian structure.
One of the hard lessons of liberty, is that with freedom comes responsibility; and with great freedom, comes great responsibility. You cannot have one without the other. It may seem counterintuitive but if examined closely the truth of this axiom cannot be denied. As ones liberty increases, so does ones sense of responsibility.
We learn this in initiation as well. Responsibility takes on an entirely new meaning to one reborn in the clarifying vision of the Setian First Degree. Responsibility expands again with ones sense of freedom as one becomes Adept; and for the Priest of Set the marriage of freedom and responsibility becomes paramount. Ponder for a moment, the terrible responsibility taken up by the Magi.
On the other hand, it seems that really quite a lot of people are initially drawn to the idea of Black Magic really out of a desire to avoid responsibility. These are the ones who think that by the power of magic, they can avoid such drudgeries as education, or work, or developing basic social skills. What these folks will eventually learn – sometimes the hard way – is what Dr. Aquino reminds us of in the Crystal Tablet – There is no free lunch.
And it’s so important he says it again,
There is no free lunch.
Sometimes people like this – “The Free Lunch Crowd” I like to call them – find their way to the Temple Set, thinking Black Magic represents the quick and easy way. What they hopefully learn is that real Black Magic, or what we like to call Greater Black Magic, is neither easy, nor quick. It’s hard, and rather than being a short-cut to by-passing responsibility, it is in fact a life-long pursuit, that leads to increasingly greater vistas of responsibility as well as freedom.
Causing change to occur in the Objective Universe requires taking on more responsibility; It also teaches us the lesson that responsibility can only be taken, not given.
Responsibility can only be taken, not given
It can only be taken, consciously and willfully, because of its connection to liberty. It can only be taken by a conscious being; An unconscious being cannot be responsible; a slave cannot be responsible, nor can a subject.
Nor can an animal. The taking of responsibility is one of the great lessons of the Aeonic principle of Arkte. We know that an animal cannot be considered responsible; therefore we must take up responsibility. And we know that we cannot give that responsibility to others. We can only take it ourselves. I can’t make someone else responsible…make them feel a sense of responsibility. I have to take it up myself.
Governments, church’s and all sorts of collectivist movements always try to pervert this truth about responsibility by trying to stick it on you. You are responsible for this person’s healthcare, or you are responsible for that person’s education, or responsible or his retirement. But of course they can’t do this. They can’t make you responsible in actuality… but they can make you feel guilty. And if they have a monopoly on force – as all governments do – they can force you to comply.
An American rocket engineer, chemist, and Thelemite named Jack Parsons visualized this duality of liberty and responsibility in his famous essay Freedom is a Two Edged Sword,
In it he wrote:
“Freedom is a two edged sword of which one edge is liberty, and the other responsibility, on which both edges are exceedingly sharp; and which is not easily handled by casual, cowardly or treacherous hands. For it has been sharpened by many conflicts, tempered in many fires, quenched by much blood, and, although it is always ready for the use of the courageous and high-hearted, it will not remain when the spirit that forged it is gone.”
I like to think of that spirit as the spirit of Liberty, and the eternal flame held aloft. And also in regard authoritarianism Parsons wrote:
“No man, no group and no nation has the right to any man’s individual freedom. No matter how pure the motive, how great the emergency, how high the principle, such action is nothing but tyranny.”
As a Thelemite Jack Parsons was of course influenced by the Magus of the Aeon of HarWer, who in his Aeonic utterance of Thelema, said “Do What thou Wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Which is another way of saying that liberty is a precondition for anything else. In fact for any of the other Aeon principles we embrace to have any meaning at all, – Indulgence, Xeper, and all that is borne from Xeper – there must first be liberty.
All of these words and ideas that are at the core of our philosophy are contingent on the wish for freedom. And at the same time we believe that embracing them will lead us inevitably toward a future of greater liberty.
People who live in places with little or no concept of liberty, will have trouble seeing the significance in something like Xeper. Liberty is a precondition for it. As horribly as it often seems our own freedoms are eroding here in America, we at least have an idea about liberty. We have things like that huge statue in New York to remind us.
Perhaps the Statue of Liberty is a modern Legominism. Gurdjieff liked to talk about the Pyramids and the Sphinx as being examples of a Legominism – a method by which wisdom is transmitted in a form that appears to be of an entirely different purpose and of which is able to endure over millennia.
How long will that Statue and it’s message, endure?
Last few years I’ve taken quite an interest in economics in general, and the Austrian school of Economics developed by Ludwig Von Mises in particular. And I must here acknowledge people like Priest Pittman and Adept Bunch as being great teachers for me in this regard.
I find the field fascinating not only because it helps me understand the nature of the world we live in, it’s values, it’s culture, and it’s mechanics. But also, I am fascinated by how the natural laws governing economics often seem to correspond with the laws governing Black Magic and initiation. There seem many correspondences.
For instance, in an approach called Methodological Individualism The Austrian School sought to understand economy by examining the social ramifications of individual choice. They theorized that the subjective choices of individuals – including individual knowledge, time, expectation, and other subjective factors – cause all economic phenomena and determine value. Concluding as we have on the Left Hand Path, that the subjective universe is a defining feature of what makes something like individuality even possible.
Just as it is the subjective universe that determines meaning, it is the subjective universe that also determines value; and makes decisions based on value judgments. And we generally decide what is in our best interests; what we perceive as holding the greatest value. And its subjective universe that is the final Remanifestation of the Gift of Set, and providence of the Black Flame.
Two other significant concepts in the Austrian school are Consumer Sovereignity and Political Individualism.
Consumer Sovereignty states that the influence consumers have on
is not merely a hard fact but also an important objective, attainable only by complete avoidance of governmental interference with markets. In other words, consumers, not the government should determine if smoking is allowed in bars, or we can buy absinth in the States.
Sovereignty is certainly a significant core value for many Setians. Uncle Setnakt makes a very strong case for it in his Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path. The challenge is how far we can project that value into the worlds that we live, work, and prosper in. And how far do we acknowledge and allow for the sovereignty of others? How do we cultivate it? Nurture it? How do we take responsibility for its cultivation?
Another key Austrian School idea is Political Individualism – this idea states that only when individuals are given full economic freedom will it be possible to secure political and moral freedom. Restrictions on economic freedom always lead, sooner or later, to an extension of the coercive activities of the state into the political domain. This happens without exception. A dampening of the flame, if you will, undermining and eventually destroying the essential individual liberties which America and other free-market societies were able to attain in the nineteenth century;
Which is, interestingly, the same era in which the Statue of Liberty was erected. There is something very important about this time period. For one thing they were “allowed” to use gold for money, they didn’t have a Federal Reserve, and they didn’t really have inflation.
In fact, the Nineteenth century was a period of deflation, rather than inflation. From the end of the Napoleanic Wars in 1815 until the start of World War I in 1914, there was practically no inflation in most countries, and in many cases prices were lower in 1914 that they had been in 1815.
And it was on the crest of this wave of energy and economic prosperity, that people like Crowley, Lovecraft, Blavatsky, Gurdjieff, Jack Parsons and many others were able to get their ideas out there.
The theoretical fusion of energy, economics and liberty became a life-long pursuit for another Austrian-School Economist – Murray Rothbard. In his classic work, For a New Liberty he presented what he called “the Libertarian Creed” The Libertarian creed he said rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else.”
The statement is essentially indistinguishable from Jack Parson’s statement that “No man, no group and no nation has the right to any man’s individual freedom.”
And all of these sound like but a rewording of Crowley’s proclamation of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” and “thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall-say-nay.”
What finer expression of justice is there, for one who has accepted that independence and free will are the natural rights of every individual?
The first reaction might be, wow, did Rothbard read Crowley? Possibly…more likely the similarity is there because there is a universal truth lying beneath.
Rothbard in fact traced this tendency toward liberty-mindedness throughout human history and noted proto-libertarian tendencies amongst various pre-modern cultures.
Looking at European history he noted it was The Germanic – and particularly the Celtic – tribal structure which succeeded in disintegrating the Roman Empire with strong libertarian elements. Instead of a mighty State apparatus and exerting a monopoly on violence, contending European tribesman resolved their disputes by consulting the elders of the tribe on the nature and application of the tribes’s customary and common law.
Rothbard also considered the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu as being one of the first Liberty minded philosophers. Lao Tzu Who living in the midst of ancient Chinese despotism, saw no hope for achieving liberty in that totalitarian society except by counseling quietism, to the point of the individual’s dropping out of social life altogether.
It’s kind of like how the Lucifer of the Diabolicon, and Milton’s Paradise Lost, finds the only possibility for Liberty to lie in an exodus from Heaven. A complete dropping-out-of and withdrawl-from that particular ordering life.
As we often learn in our own real-life experiences of seeking liberty through Xeper and the cultivation of self-consciousness, the real struggle comes when you realize there have grown-many-forces in place that are opposed to your Liberty and your conscious evolution away from their established laws of the average and acceptable.
The challenge of the Fire of Liberty is that you burn away those constraints. That you dismay all challengers to your freedom. That you break those laws, rise above the average, and redefine the acceptable. Walk away from the crowd like Lucifer did, reaffirm and Remanifest yourself with that same fire, and then feel yourself rising above them.
In the end Rothbard distilled the concept of the erosion of Liberty to one simple pattern “the seizure of control over the money supply by government.”
He explains the chronic and worsening monetary inflation of the world and the United States as the product of a continuing shift from gold, to government issued paper money; and the development of central banking, i.e. the Federal Reserve. A central bank to which all other banks dependend.
And if you look at history you can see these same things at the roots of the demise of many Wiemar, from Weimar Germany all the way back to the Byzantine empire (more about Byzantine quitting gold)
It’s all beyond of the scope of what we can talk about here, but
This is precisely the same pattern that emerges from the Diabolicon, wherein the Angels of Masleh endeavor to seize control of the Black Flame “supply” in order to maintain control over a docile human population.
And they fought a huge war over it too.
Consider for a moment that the stories of the Diabolicon represent not Jungian racial memories of past events, but rather an apprehension or pattern recognition of future events. Perhaps an instance of Synesis, giving us clues to our own immediate possibilities for liberty.
Consider the possibility that we are the Daimons here and now, faced with the question and responsibility of what to do next with the Black Flame. With awesome power comes awesome responsibility, and Liberty can not exist with-out responsibility.
If we can come to see these patterns clearly – the divine patterns of Set, of Luciferian Exodus, of Supersubstantial Fire – If we can see these patterns clearly in ourselves, and in our Subjective Universe, then perhaps we may begin to perceive them in the Objective Universe – In the real world we all live.
Man in his current incarnation has existed on the earth for only a sand-grain of time in the cosmic hourglass. Perhaps there were others before… I wish there to be others after. Or perhaps we are the “others after,”… perhaps we are the last in line.
In the end we will be able to reap only what we have sown.
In the end we will produce only grape juice, or wine.
In the end we will not Remanifest, or we will Remanifest with the Holy Fire of Liberty.