Category Archives: philosophy

The Holy Mountain – Part One

Alejando Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain (1973) is one of my all time favourites. It’s about symbolism, mainly focused on spirituality and the occult, death, rebirth, mysticism and the extramundane, but also on capitalist production, militarism and the absurd. The visual vocabulary is unique and absolutely stunning. Press pause in any frame at any time throughout the whole film, and you will get an image that constitutes the most amazing art. After all, Jodorowsky was trying with all his soul to make a sacred film. He wanted to change mankind with it, make it a source of enlightenment for the audience, and he believed that cinema was better than LSD…

The Holy Mountain has certainly changed me and the way I look at things, and most importantly the way I look at movies. In my eyes, this is pure gold/excrements. It operates on so many levels and is filled with so much detail, I believe you need to experience it several times to grasp its universal themes. Knowledge of the occult, religion and its’ most basic symbols is essential for understanding. Sometimes it comes out deep as fuck, and sometimes it does not (to put it simply, haha!)… That’s what I love with this piece of art: It rules even when it sucks!

These posts are based on Jodorowsky’s commentary track for the Anchor Bay DVD edition, as well as the book The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky. You may want to watch the movie while you read this text, and hopefully, a deeper kind of understanding will emerge on your highway to hell/nirvana or whatever you may fancy.

Here are the first three minutes of the film, as explained by Jodorowsky in the commentary track:

First, a set decorated without furniture. It’s clean, like a hospital, with crosses on the wall to convey a sense of mysticism. There are only essential objects, like a sacred ceremony. The master’s outfit conceals his face. He hides his face, like Mohammed. He is an essential being, without ego.

These are the actual movements of a Japanese tea ceremony. All the movements are conscious.

These two girls weren’t actresses. They wanted to have a spiritual experience. They were searching for their own truth, their naked truth.

[the camera sweeps across different images]
The inner God that opens in circles towards a greater consciousness.
A heart that opens towards a greater consciousness.
The target that the arrow must hit.
The eye of Buddha.
The pearl, the soul that must be polished.
When the door is opened, a key is found with the trilogy.
Now, descend into the world of the dead, to the world of the dreamless dreams.
Descending…
Butterfly wings symbolize metamorphosis.
Back up through the serpent, Kundalini… the pearls of Eros, until it arrives at a geometric figure, which is the interior consciousness.

After this three minute introduction filled to the brim with symbols of the occult, we meet the protagonist, the Christ like figure, the Thief, lying on the ground, and who through the course of the film will experience moments of enlightenment. Jodorowsky continues:

He’s ”The Fool” of the tarot. His face is covered with flies, symbolizing useless thoughts. He is urinating on himself. He’s drunk and lost. This is the card that defines him, the tarot’s Fool card. The Fool is always represented by an animal that is his ego. The frog is the ego.

To be continued in Part Two.

The World Tomorrow

It must be considered impossible to solve the position we’ve placed ourselves in. The level of humanity’s consciousness is way too low. Our children will have to pay. They are the ones being left with the pollution, the wreckage, the ruin, the debt and the collapse of human industrial civilization. That’s not pessimism, but realism. Consider this: What if realists were in charge of U.S. foreign policy?

Now all the gods are dead, except the god of war. And the god of war is money.

Charles Eisenstein, in Sacred Economics, states:

Our culture’s notion of spirit is that of something separate and non-worldly, that yet can miraculously intervene in material affairs, and that even animates and directs them in some mysterious way.

It is hugely ironic and hugely significant that the one thing on the planet most closely resembling the forgoing conception of the divine is money! It is an invisible, immortal force that surrounds and steers all things, omnipotent and limitless, an ‘invisible hand’ that, it is said, makes the world go ’round. Yet, money today is an abstraction, at most symbols on a piece of paper, but usually mere bits in a computer.
[…]

Money’s divine property of abstraction, of disconnection from the real world of things, reached its extreme in the early years of the 21st century as the financial economy lost its mooring in the real economy and took on a life of its own. The vast fortunes of Wall Street were unconnected to any material production, seeming to exist in a separate realm.

Looking down from Olympian heights, the financiers called themselves ‘masters of the universe’, channeling the power of the god they served to bring fortune or ruin upon the masses, to literally move mountains, raze forests, change the course of rivers, cause the rise and fall of nations. But money soon proved to be a capricious god. As I write these words, it seems that the increasingly frantic rituals that the financial priesthood uses to placate the god money are in vain. Like the clergy of a dying religion, they exhort their followers to greater sacrifices while blaming their misfortunes either on sin (greedy bankers, irresponsible consumers) or on the mysterious whims of God (the financial markets). Soon, perhaps, we will blame the priests themselves.

What we call deflation, an earlier culture might have called, ‘God abandoning the world’. Money is disappearing, and with it a third property of spirit, the animating force of the human realm. At this writing, all over the world machines stand idle. Factories have ground to a halt, construction equipment sits derelict in the yard. Yet all the human and material inputs to operate them still exist. There is still fuel, there are still raw materials, and there are still human beings in abundance who know how to operate the machines. It is rather something immaterial, that animating spirit, which has fled. What has fled is money. That is the only thing missing, so insubstantial (in the form of electrons in computers) that it can hardly be said to exist at all, yet so powerful that without it, human productivity grinds to a halt. It is as if God had forsaken the world.

Even beyond the mechanical realm, we can see the demotivating effects of lack of money. Consider the stereotype of the unemployed man, nearly broke, slouched in front of the TV in his undershirt, drinking a beer, hardly able to rise from his chair. Money, it seems, animates people as well as machines. Without it we are dispirited.

We do not realize that our concept of the divine has attracted to it a god that fits that concept, and given it sovereignty over the earth. By divorcing the soul from the flesh, spirit from matter, and God from nature, we have installed a ruling power that is soulless, alienating, ungodly and unnatural.

Obviously, God must be killed. Watch Michael C. Ruppert’s speech about this (it’s edited with pompous music, new age imagery etc, but as always: listen to the message, ignore the cosmetics).

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In a world where almost every news channel is owned by major Western corporations and governments, Julian Assange’s TV-show The World Tomorrow might bring something new to the table. Yep, it’s run by Russia Today, which is funded by the Russian state, but there still is a difference.

And yeah, Assange’s ”show” looks and behaves like an amateur video podcast, but of course, looks are completely irrelevant. Idiots will always have a hang up on Assange’s haircut, his smile, the way he speaks or whatever, but don’t bother with idiots – it’s the message that counts. Assange is executing what mainstream media so often fails to do: he breaks stories, lets interesting people talk, tries to find the missing link, exposes the truth and the lies. At least with Wikileaks. As for the show, it’s too early to tell.

Unfortunately, the program is much too short. Episode #2 would have been much better if David Horowitz (Zionist) and Slavoj Žižek (Communist) could’ve talked for one or two hours, instead of 25 minutes. But I guess that’s because the platform is owned by Russia Today, and after all, it’s supposed to be a TV-show, not a video podcast.

Still, it’s great compared to the totally worthless debates on national television in Sweden. They cram twenty people together in a studio, everybody’s talking over the top of each other, it’s just mindless and meaningless to watch. Mainstream media really, really sucks. Sure, every now and then there are good articles to be found even in the crappiest of papers, but if you want the real deal you have to go somewhere else. The World Tomorrow might be a good place to start, even though they seem to be struggling with the same problems as mentioned above. Just look at Horowitz and Žižek going crazy in the studio! At least they’re trying…

However, as people start to dig a bit deeper than Dagens Nyheter and The Guardian, the power freaks are trying to take control over the Internet with PIPA, SOPA, ACTA, CISPA, FRA, Datalagringsdirektivet… You know how it goes. If people had paid more attention to The Pirate Party we probably wouldn’t be so utterly fucked already. Now it’s pretty damn close to 1984, and we won’t even realize it until we’re cut off. And not even then will we do anything about it. That’s the sad but true story of humanity right there. We know what’s wrong, but we’re too fucked to care. We might have heard about CISPA in the news, but we don’t bother to check what it’s all about. In so many ways, we truly deserve this collapse.

The World Tomorrow might not be the most balanced show on earth, but at least it’s something different, working to make a change. Hopefully Assange and Russia Today will have the courage and honesty to invite their ”enemies” as well, further on.

Let’s start looking at the puppet masters – for real – and stop being their puppets.

Ayahuasca – The Vine of Death

Art by Alex Grey — Please visit alexgrey.com

It’s obvious that the war on drugs is not about protecting people from harmful substances. If it was, then alcohol, cigarettes, and maybe even coffee (can you imagine an office in Western society where you can’t get coffee?), would definitely be illegal. Those are highly addictive and harmful substances, but they’re still very much promoted by society. Nothing wrong with that, really, since we should be able to decide for ourselves what to do with our bodies, but the hypocrisy is fascinating, and the anti-drug propaganda is still as mindless as it’s always been. So, the war is clearly about controlling the cash flow, and ultimately controlling what people think. In other words, it’s about capitalism.

I’ve been following The Joe Rogan Experience podcast off and on since 2010, and some of the most interesting shows have been about exploring the human mind with the help of meditation, floatation tanks, weed and hallucinogens. It’s basically dealing with how little we really know about ourselves and the universe. Then there’s the Ayahuasca experience, which is taking it to the next level.

The Ayahuasca experience seems to be most rewarding when it comes to getting to terms with yourself, but it also seems to be extremely challenging and scary as hell. This is not something you do for fun to spice up your boring party, and it’s certainly not about fake new age imagery either. Faking to be spiritual is actually preventing you from being spiritual, as Chris Marcus says in episode #127 of The Joe Rogan Experience, and Ayahuasca will make you feel like shit for real, so no use in faking there.

Art by Alex Grey – alexgrey.com

The big problem, as with anything that gets exploited and hyped up, seems to be to find the real deal. People are keen to take your money, but they might have no interest in the plant or the experience, and according to those who know, this could be disastrous. Ayahuasca tourism has been in full effect for a couple of years already, and it’s probably getting worse as more and more people discover its potential.

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There’s a vast amount of information about Ayahuasca on the internet, of course. Here are some of the resources I’ve found particularly useful when trying to figure out what it’s all about:

Documentaries
Manifesting the Mind (2011) – A great introduction to psychedelics.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2010) – A film based on Dr. Rick Strassman’s book with the same name, where he explores the effects of DMT. His research was approved by the U.S. government.

Video podcasts
The Joe Rogan Experience #127
, August 3 2011 – Part 1Part 2
The Ayahuasca experience of Aubrey Marcus, who went to Peru for the real deal with the shamans. I’d been reading a bit about Ayahuasca before, but this is what got me really interested.

London Real, March 18 2012Ready to Die
A really cool video podcast inspired by The Joe Rogan Experience.
“Brian Rose & Nic Gabriel talk about their upcoming retreat with Ayahuasca, the controversial hallucinogen and ‘Plant Teacher’. After spending 10 days on a rigorous diet of no sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, wheat, red meat, dairy, soy or spices, they discuss their anxiety and anticipation about the upcoming experience and how it will change their lives.”
While Joe Rogan totally rule, he might be a bit too talkative, interrupting his guests a bit too often and straying away from the subject only to return twenty minutes later, which kind of annoys me at times. Brian and Nic are quite mild in their approach, and their show is about an hour long (The JRE may last up till three hours). London Real is well worth watching!

London Real, March 28 2012 – Back from the Dead
”Brian Rose & Nic Gabriel talk about the fear, anxiety, anticipation, and excitement of their first Ayahuasca retreat in the UK and how they felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually before, during, and directly after ingesting the “Plant Teacher.” They detail the logistics of the actual ceremony and describe the sensations felt hour-by-hour as the medicine traversed their bodies and conclude with individual life lessons drawn from the experience.”

Graham Hancock on Ayahuasca and Consciousness
The great writer and journalist Mr. Hancock is hooked on Ayahuasca. Here he tells his story to Sonia Doubell.

The Joe Rogan Experience #195, March 13 2012
Aubrey Marcus again. This time he’s been to Costa Rica, getting crazy with Ibogaine, which is even tougher than Ayahuasca.

London Real, April 30 2012 – The Secret Bliss
Brian and Nic talking to the above mentioned Sonia Doubell about her Ayahuasca experience, meditation and more.

Lucifer Rising – A Love Vision

Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising (1972) must be one of the most ambitious independent films made to date. It took over eleven years to complete, with locations spanning the temples of Karnak and the pyramids of Giza in Egypt to Germany’s Black Forest to Stonehenge, as well as India, Iceland, and lots of locations in the United States. Knowing that Anger chose to work mostly by himself, controlling all aspects of film production (his ability to direct, light, photograph, costume, create props, edit and produce is legendary) and working with an extremely modest budget, most of it self-financed, the end result is nothing but astonishing.

The visual inspiration must be traced to Aleister Crowley’s poem Hymn to Lucifer, which in turn recalls John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost (1667). Lucifer is, in both Milton’s, Crowley’s and Anger’s eyes, the representation of beauty and light, the light bearer, the morning star, and so forth… In Gnostic myth, Lucifer was/is a pre-Judeo-Christian deity, identified with the fallen angel cast out of Heaven. The Gnostics worshipped Lucifer as the Herald of the Dawn, the light preceding the sun. This myth was then suppressed by the Catholic Church.

Marquis de Sade held that it was evil that was man’s prime motivation toward pleasure. Baudelaire tried to ”extract beauty from evil”, as did Milton in Paradise Lost and Dante in The Divine Comedy. It was in this symbolic context that Kenneth Anger found inspiration, and as early as 1954, in Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Anger explored different psychedelic states of consciousness. In a way, Lucifer Rising is ”with its themes of demonic possession expressed through the loss and recovery of psychic and physical power” (Alice L. Hutchison, Kenneth Anger) the ultimate of Anger’s manifestations, sort of stating that all these themes – the journey, the quest, the beauty, the darkness, the sublime and the psychedelic experience – are related. It’s the perfect combination of everything and nothing – showing another existence different from rational awareness. It’s like dreams that ”attempt to bring order to the unruly emotions and desires repressed by the social constraints of everyday life” (Hutchison). Anger himself consider Lucifer Rising to be the one film, alongside Scorpio Rising (1964), that came closest to his vision.

Robert Haller: ”To watch the film is to become intensely aware of the kinds and qualities of light, of its presence and absence, of its force.”

Before the film’s completion, Anger had this to say:
”The film Lucifer Rising is my answer to Scorpio Rising – which was a death mirror held up to American Culture. […] I call it a love vision, and it’s about love – the violence as well as the tenderness… […] Lucifer is the Rebel Angel behind what’s happening in the world today. His message is that the ‘Key of Joy is Disobedience’.”

When done filming, but not editing:
”Frankly, it’s taken me into some very strange corners… You see, I didn’t think it was about demons or hell, really. I was trying to make a film about the Angel of Light. That was his first name. The Son of the Morning, you see. But now I almost believe what the Bible says.”

Kenneth Anger’s interest in sound led to experimental collaborations with Mick Jagger (creator of the soundtrack for Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)), Marianne Faithfull (who starred in Lucifer Rising), Jimmy Page (who began composing for Lucifer Rising, but got fired) and the infamous Bobby Beausoleil (whose music appeared in the final re-edited version of Lucifer Rising). Anger argued that rock’n’roll embodied the rebellious spirit of the times.

As for Lucifer Rising, Anger had 17 hours of film and had been using the film-editing facilities in the basement of Jimmy Page’s Victorian mansion in London to trim it down. One night Anger was ordered by Page’s girlfriend to leave the house. No reason was given for his eviction, and his work was terminated, and so was Jimmy Page’s work on the soundtrack. The media reports of these events led to Beausoleil contacting Anger about making music for the film. Since Beausoleil was held captive in prison for his involvement with the Charles Manson murders, the instruments were delivered by mail order and Anger provided him with the time-sheet for the film. The result is amazing. That Bobby Beausoleil’s last name is roughly translated to ”beautiful sun” is yet another detail related to the concept of light.

 

Kenneth Anger made his first movie when he was nine years old. When Scorpio Rising was released in 1963 it became the most viewed underground film in history. Anger still didn’t have enough money to truly realize his grand visions, and was unable to complete most of them. ”Money has always been a problem, and it made me give up on a lot of projects”. One of these movies that to my knowledge is still unfinished is a portrait if his friend Elliot Smith. He also made plans for a documentary about the German colony Nueva Germania in Paraguay, which was founded by Nietzsche’s sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. According to Anger the place holds a lot of inbreds…


Still to this day, at the age of 85, Anger refers to himself as a thelemite, a follower of the spiritual philosophy Thelema developed by Aleister Crowley. In the 1940’s, Anger started to collect Crowley books and manuscripts, and obviously his collection is huge (probably not as huge as that of Jimmy Page, though, whose collection is rumoured to be the second largest in the world. Page also owns Crowley’s former residence at Boleskin, Loch Ness).

By the way, the Jimmy Page soundtrack is available again, remixed and all that, along with other soundtracks on this beautiful album:

This article is inspired by Alice L. Hutchinson’s book Kenneth Anger, as well as the interview with Kenneth Anger by Carl Abrahamsson.

Blood and Time at the End of the World


The Temple of Kukulkan seen from the Temple of the Warriors.


Chichen Itza, northern Yucatan, Mexico

“Behind me, towering almost 100 feet into the air, was a perfect ziggurat, the Temple of Kukulkan. Its four stairways had 91 steps each. Taken together with the top platform, which counted as a further step, the total was 365. This gave the number of complete days in a solar year. In addition, geometric design and orientation of the ancient structure had been calibrated with Swiss-watch precision to achieve an objective as dramatic as it was esoteric: on the spring and autumn equinoxes, regular as clockwork, triangular patterns of light and shadow combined to create the illusion of a giant serpent undulating on the northern staircase. On each occasion the illusion lasted for 3 hours and 22 minutes exactly.
(Check video here)

[…]
I passed by and made my way to the foot of the steep steps that led up to the adjacent Temple of the Warriors.
At the top of these steps, becoming fully visible only after I had begun to ascend them, was a giant figure. This was the idol of Chacmool.

[…]
Weighing on my mind was the unforgettable fact that the ritual of human sacrifice had been routinely practised here in the pre-Colombian times. The empty plate that Chacmool held across his stomach had once served as a receptacle for freshly extracted hearts. ‘If the victim’s heart was to be taken out’, reported one Spanish observer in the sixteenth century, ‘they conducted him with great display … and placed him on the sacrificial stone. Four of them took hold of his arms and legs, spreading them out. Then the executioner came, with a flint knife in his hand, and with great skill made an incision between the ribs on the left side, below the nipple; then plunged in his hand and like a ravenous tiger tore out the living heart, which he laid on the plate…’

What kind of culture could have nourished and celebrated such demonic behaviour? Here, in Chichen Itza, amid ruins dating back more than 1200 years, a hybrid society had formed out of intermingled Maya and Toltec elements. This society was by no means exceptional in its addictions to cruel and barbaric ceremonies. On the contrary, all the great indigenous civilizations known to have flourished in Mexico had indulged in the ritualized slaughter of human beings.

Slaughterhouses

Villahermosa, Tabasco Province
I stood looking at the Altar of Infant Sacrifice. It was the creation of the Olmecs, the so-called ‘mother-culture’ of Central America, and it was more than 3000 years old. A block of solid granite about four feet thick, its sides bore reliefs of four men wearing curious head-dresses. Each man carried a healthy, chubby, struggling infant, whose desperate fear was clearly visible. The back of the altar was undecorated; at the front another figure was portrayed, holding in his arms, as though it were an offering, the slumped body of a dead child.

The Olmecs are the earliest recognized high civilization of Ancient Mexico, and human sacrifice was well established with them. Two and a half thousand years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest, the Aztecs were the last (but by no means the least) of the peoples of this region to continue an extemely old and deeply ingrained tradition.

They did so with fanatical zeal.

It is recorded, for example, that Ahuizotl, the eight and most powerful emperor of the Aztec royal dynasty, ‘celebrated the dedication of the temple of Huitzilopochli in Tenochitlan by marshalling four lines of prisoners past teams of priests who worked four days to dispatch them. On this occasion as many as 80,000 were slain during a single ceremonial rite.

The Aztecs liked to dress up in the flayed skins of sacrificial victims. Bernardino de Sahagun, a Spanish missionary, attended one such ceremony soon after the conquest:

‘The celebrants flayed and dismembered the captives; they then lubricated their own naked bodies with grease and slipped into the skin … Trailing blood and grease, the gruesomely clad men ran through the city, thus terrifying those they followed … The second-day’s rite also included a cannibal feast for each warrior’s family.’

Another mass sacrifice was witnessed by the Spanish chronicler Diego de Duran. In this instance the victims were so numerous that when the streams of blood running down the temple steps ‘reached bottom and cooled they formed fat clots, enough to terrify anyone’. All in all, it has been estimated that the number of sacrificial victims in the Aztec empire as a whole had risen to around 250,000 a year by the beginning of the sixteenth century.

What was this manic destruction of human life for? According to the Aztecs themselves, it was done to delay the coming of the end of the world.”

The above text is an excerpt from Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock.

Joe Rogan of UFC fame has a brilliant podcast, and one of the most interesting so far featured Graham Hancock. Check it out here: The Joe Rogan Experience – Episode #142

Other podcasts of interest:
The JRE – Episode #170 Michael Ruppert (check the Collapse post for more info)
The JRE – Episode #173 Peter Joseph from the Zeitgeist movement
The JRE – Episode #127 Part 1 Chris Marcus about Ayahuasca
The JRE – Episode #127 Part 2
…and a bit about DMT as well

Also check The Joe Rogan Database for a quick overview of all the podcasts. At the time of writing there are 192 podcasts to browse through. Phew… Too much blood, not enough time.

>Finding meaning in the void

>

”The flames sawed in the wind and the embers paled and deepened and paled and deepened like the bloodbeat of some living thing eviscerate upon the ground before them and they watched the fire which does contain within it something of men themselves inasmuch as they are less without it and are divided from their origins and are exiles. For each fire is all fires, the first fire and the last ever to be. By and by the judge rose and moved away on some obscure mission and after a while someone asked the expriest if it were true that at one time there had been two moons in the sky and the expriest eyed the false moon above them and said that it may well have been so. But certainly the wise high God in his dismay at the proliferation of lunacy on this earth must have wetted a thumb and leaned down out of the abyss and pinched it hissing into extinction. And could he find some alter means by which the birds could mend their paths in the darkness he might have done with this one too.”
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, 1985

As a way of finding some meaning to the void, as a way of understanding the eternal quest for the answer to the unfathomable ”Why?” question, here are some quotes of true mindfulness. If read carefully, you will see that they range from the pessimistic and hopeless to the exact opposites (well…), only to return to and end in the abyss of the void.
Pain and pleasure – life and death – indivisible.

”Brief and powerless is man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for man, condemned today to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow fall, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day; disdaining the coward terrors of the slave of Fate, to worship at the shrine that his own hands have built; undismayed by the empire of chance, to preserve a mind free from the wanton tyranny that rules his outward life; proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate, for a moment, his knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary but unyielding Atlas, the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of unconscious power.”
Bertrand Russell, A Free Man’s Worship, 1903

”A vast, sepulchral universe of unbroken midnight gloom and perpetual arctic frigidity, through which will roll dark, cold suns with their hordes of dead, frozen planets, on which will lie the dust of those unhappy mortals who will have perished as their dominant stars faded from their skies. Such is the depressing picture of a future too remote for calculation.”
H.P. Lovecraft, Clusters and Nebulae, 1915

No one is accountable for existing at all, or for being constituted as he is, or for living in the circumstances and surroundings in which he lives. The fatality of his nature cannot be disentangled from the fatality of all that which has been and will be. He is not the result of a special design, a will, a purpose; he is not the subject of an attempt to attain an ‘ideal of man’ or an ‘ideal of happiness’ or an ‘ideal of morality’ – it is absurd to want to hand over his nature to some purpose or other. We invented the concept of ‘purpose’: in reality purpose is lacking.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1954

”By my thirteenth birthday I was thoroughly impressed with man’s impermanence and insignificance, and by my seventeenth […] I had formed in all essential particulars my present pessimistic cosmic views. The futility of all existence began to impress and oppress me; and my references to human progress, formerly hopeful, began to decline in enthusiasm.”
H.P. Lovecraft, A Confession of Unfaith, 1906

”But nothing good can be said of that cancerous machine-culture itself. It is not a true civilisation, and has nothing in it to satisfy a mature and fully developed human mind. It is attuned to the mentality and imagination of the galley-slave and the moron, and crushes relentlessly with disapproval, ridicule, and economic annihilation any sign of actually independent thought and civilised feeling which chances to rise above its sodden level. It is a treadmill, squirrel-trap culture – drugged and frenzied with the hasheesh of industrial servitude and material luxury. It is wholly a material body-culture, and its symbol is the tiled bathroom and steam radiator rather than the Doric portico and the temple of philosophy. Its denizens do not live or know how to live.”
H.P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters 1925–1929, p. 304

”Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim. It is absurd to look upon the enormous amount of pain that abounds everywhere in the world, and originates in needs and necessities inseparable from life itself, as serving no purpose at all and the result of mere chance. Each separate misfortune, as it comes, seems, no doubt, to be something exceptional; but misfortune in general is the rule.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Sufferings of the World

”Pessimismen verkar skadebringande och förstörande endast när den stammar ur ett svagt, slappt gemyt. Det starka lifsföraktet har en tändande, eggande verkan. Igenom de högsta alstren af den isländska diktningen, i den fornskandinaviska lifskänslan öfverhufvud, sjunger en hvinande ton af hårdnackadt, desperat trots mot lifvets makt och lifvets meningslöshet – densamma tonen som en gång klang så gällt, och väl ännu är kvar, i Strindbergs verk. — Endast vår feghet, vårt ringa sanningsbegär, vår dumma sentimentalitet är det, enligt honom, som förhindrar oss att inse att lifvet har sin källa i det onda, att det onda är lifvets herre. Hvad mängden kallar ‘ödet’, ‘gud’ o.s.v., det är mörkret, Ariman, fienden till allt framsteg, allt verkligt värde, all sann förtjenst. Ariman – det är dumheten och råheten, hvilka alltid ha högsätet i denna den bästa af alla världar. Och detta förhållande är konstant af evighet, den mänskliga karaktären skall aldrig ändras, lifvets princip är evigt en, det onda.”
Vilhelm Ekelund, Det ondas religion, 1923

”Tradition means nothing cosmically, but it means everything locally and pragmatically because we have nothing else to shield us from a devastating sense of ‘lostness’ in endless time and space.”
H.P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters 1925–1929, p. 356–357

”The sinister, the terrible never deceive: the state in which they leave us is always one of enlightenment. And only this condition of vicious insight allows us a full grasp of the world, all things considered, just as a frigid melancholy grants us full possession of ourselves. We may hide from horror only in the heart of horror.”
Thomas Ligotti, The Medusa, 1991

”That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.”
H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu, 1926

”I have tried to show that the Outsider is a man with an unusual and acute need for a sense of values. It has been objected that almost everybody asks himself at some time: What is life all about? And that therefore everybody is, in some degree, an Outsider. But this is only a failure to understand the spiritual condition of a man who feels a perpetual gnawing instinct for meaning, a hunger and thirst: a thirst that can be so acute that its frustration can lead to insanity. […] The Outsider has a feeling that there are certain things that are absolutely important, and that, quite literally, should occupy the mind all the time, and be perpetual standard of referens for all other feelings.
The only other man who shares this belief with him is the religious man. Religion makes precisely the same demands for meaning and purpose as the Outsider. The Outsider is therefore akin to the religious man.”
Colin Wilson, The Outsider, 1954

”Att vara outsider i ett sjukt samhälle måste vara något starkt och bra, eller hur?”
Bruno K. Öijer

”My assertion that today there is no political system, no formation, and no party whatsoever worth devoting oneself to, and that everything existing must be denied, has disconcerted many. However, this denial and non-commitment do not derive from a lack of principles, but from the possession of principles, which are precise, solid and not subject to compromise. […] In the life of today it can be appropriate, for many, to withdraw in order to settle in a more interior line of trenches, so that that which we cannot do anything about cannot do anything against us.”
Julius Evola, 1964

”The press today is an army with carefully organized weapons, the journalists its officers, the readers its soldiers. The reader neither knows nor is supposed to know the purposes for which he is used and the role he is to play.”
Oswald Spengler, 1918

”Tension without cosmic pulsation to animate it is the transition to nothingness.”
Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, Vol. 2: Perspectives of World History, 1923

The human phenomenon is but the sum
Of densely coiled layers of illusion
Each of which winds itself on the supreme insanity
That there are persons of any kind
When all there can be is mindless mirrors
Laughing and screaming as they parade about
in an endless dream  
Thomas Ligotti

>Music that matters is solemn, sacred, severe…

>

In a time and age when it’s frowned upon when people take their arts seriously, when irony rules, when the norm is not to care and the attention span of the average fuck up is no longer than three seconds – it is the age of arts, morals and politics in decline — it’s good to know there are still people who are the exact opposite. People who are dedicated, solemn, severe…

As for Oswald Spengler’s analogy when dividing cultures into seasons, where spring is the birth of religion and where the basics of this culture is being formed, in June 2007 I wrote this about winter: ”Politics is motivated by money and moves through imperialism. Science no longer reaches certainties. There is much cultural confusion. The arts do not speak from or to the soul of the people, but rather follow materialistic fashions with lots of changes in styles, not asking much from neither the artist nor the people. After a moment of atheism the people will turn to a renewal of religion and spiritual faith, based on the religion developed in the spring of the culture.”
Full article here.

For me, music is a way to gain strenght. Not always, but most often.
Here are some songs that move me in different ways. It’s songs that have a certain weight to them, and I guess what they have in common is the stunning dedication to the cause (be it just the music, something of spiritual importance, or whatever), and with that comes a very powerful performance. Many times the lyrics are as important as the music and the visuals. In fact, most of the times the lyrics are what really matters, and when there are no lyrics and the music still moves me, that’s when it really hurts, and that’s when it’s for real. You don’t hear that very often nowadays.

EDITED THIS POST BECAUSE ALL THE TUBES SLOWED DOWN WHOLE UNIVERSE…

Portishead — Roads
40 Watt Sun — Restless
Krister Linder — Vow
Esbjörn Svensson Trio — Seven Days of Falling / Elevation of Love
Low — Lullaby
Griftegård — Charles Taze Russell
Primordial — Empire Falls
Sigrblot ‑Endtime Communion (excerpt)
Watain — Waters of Ain
Funeral Mist — Jesus Saves

>We had all the momentum

>

Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seemed like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era — the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant…

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of ‘history’ it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time — and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights — or very early mornings — when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L.L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder’s jacket… booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got through the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change)… but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that…

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda… You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning…

And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave…

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.