Category Archives: philosophy

>Finding meaning in the void

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”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…

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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

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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.

>The world itself

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I dont regard my state of mind as some pessimistic view of the world.
I regard it as the world itself.
Evolution cannot avoid bringing intelligent life ultimately to an awareness of one thing above all else and that one thing is futility.

Cormac McCarthy’s play (which some people believe reads more like a novel) has been called “a poem in celebration of death”. I have yet to put my hands on anything by McCarthy that is nothing short of amazing, and The Sunset Limited is no exception.

However, I don’t find this play to be such an awesome literary experience as compared to Blood Meridian, for example, and that’s quite obvious since this is a play. Here is no Cormac painting pictures in your mind, here is none of that superb prose you’re used to, but here are these two men talking about the meaning and the meaninglessness of life, death, God, faith and other fairly intangible ideas, and that’s about it.

I didn’t know about this play until I found out about the movie adaptation. Starring Tommy Lee Jones as White and Samuel L. Jackson as Black, this is one tough battle for the human soul. In a way, these two dudes represent two extremes, and also, to be honest, two stereotypes. At least that’s what I make out of it. The black man being an ex-prisoner, a murderer, who found God in jail, and the white man being a professor and an atheist. That’s pretty stereotype, isn’t it? So, at times, the dialogue gets pathetic.

Black relies entirely on his faith in the Bible and White believes in Culture. Or believed, rather. Because apparently, White just tried to commit suicide. He has lost his faith in Culture and the human condition: “The things I believe in don’t exist anymore”. White has awoken to the real world around him, and the real world is evil. Interpreting the play in this way, I find it superb. It’s pretty much what I’ve been trying to say all along. Thus, I can cope with some parts being rather simple-minded.

I yearn for the darkness. I pray for death. Real death. If I thought that in death I would meet the people I’ve known in life I don’t know what I’d do. That would be the ultimate horror. The ultimate despair. If I had to meet my mother again and start all of that all over, only this time without the prospect of death to look forward to?
Well. That would be the final nightmare. Kafka on wheels.

This is Cormac McCarthy without the surrounding mythos and tension and atmosphere. Also, he has left the territories he knows best: man in nature, the nature of the beast, the nature of man. A lot of true critics say he’s not working as well without the atmosphere and stuff, but I say fuck that shit… Sure, I’m a fanboy, and highly biased, but I think my mind is clear enough to say that this is some pretty good dope for the soul. The subjects he’s dealing with are pretty much the same as always, although in a more accepted way, so to speak. I think this dialogue speaks to more people than Blood Meridian, for example. The Sunset Limited is straight to the point, while Blood Meridian is almost occult and obscure in perspective. 

As for the movie VS the play, I’d say I enjoyed the movie more (despite the bad editing). Maybe because I’m not used to reading plays and all, and I really like the acting of Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel Jackson.
As always, you decide.

Show me a religion that prepares one for death. For nothingness.
There’s a church I might enter.

>A need to discover the dark

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The world of the occult and the obscure, the hidden and the haunted… It might just be a load of bollocks to most, but to me it represents the inner cravings of the human psyche. A need to discover the dark, as Jon Nödtveidt once put it.

The human mind and the core of humanity is reflected in the darkness of man, and this is what’s of interest to those who seek beyond the everyday boredom of life. If you fear the unknown, you probably prefer television before the secrets of the black arts…
Or simply put: Fantasy is more interesting than reality.

But ok, most of the writings on the left hand path are a load of bollocks. It’s pretty much new age crap. Lame as fuck. At least that’s my opinion having read or skimmed through quite a bunch of books on the subject.

However, bollocks or not, some of the texts below makes my mind wander when all hope is gone – and that’s all I crave. It’s like reading a good book of fiction. That’s how I look at most things I read. Reading academic stuff like an academic takes the fun out of reading. Most importantly, the mind must awaken and the soul must be touched, or else I could do with whatever shallow shit that’s on TV at any given moment.

So here are a bunch of basic works that I’ve found interesting in many ways. If you’re into the imagery and lyrics of the occult metal scene, you should definitely take notice.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead
The Psychedelic Experience – A manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Timothy Leary
An essay about the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Annie Shapiro
The Kaballah Unveiled
Dhammapada
The Art and Meaning of Magic (contains the Iron Maiden quotes “I Am He! The Bornless One!”)
The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
The Magical Revival
The Lives of the Necromancers

For deeper dwelling I highly recommend The Doctrine of Awakening by Julius Evola. It just might deserve its own article… We’ll see about that.

Related posts about religion:
The meaning of the curse
Belief and Bloodshed: The Religion of Genocide
The Louse of Holy Name
Jehova, Christ, Lucifer and Satan
Religion and its influence on society
DSO – Obedience to the point of death
Prayin’ hard – Jim Goad
Show me a man who is good
Nietzsche – Revalutation of all values!