I admit, I have an extremely addictive personality.
Addiction is said to be connected to firing of dopamine receptors in our brains that give us a natural, internal chemical reward for actions taken that our brains perceive as 'Good' weather or not in objective reality that action is in fact 'Good' for our well being or not. In turn, like any drug, through repeated ritual use, we find ourselves in routines, forming habit loops in our lives based around these psycho-physical pleasure-reward cycles, which once settled into can become extremely hard to break. We find ourselves always chasing the next hit. For some of us, our drug of choice happens to be work, business, and the illusion of quality productivity,
You can see addiction rear it's ugly head in many forms all around us in the modern world. There are men who are addicted to porn who then cannot seem to find the ability to cultivate intimacy with their wife or girlfriend, or engage with women in social settings to even have the requisite confidence in order to court a woman they might be interested in. We see men dumping their youthful, natural competitive energies wastefully into video games, staring into television screens, giving themselves the illusion of accomplishment, a fix, ( 20+ Mana for my character!) from the world in which they feel frustrated at the inability to find a viable outlet. And we also see college students in binge drinking pissing contests, or shooting heroin to numb the pain of existence... an easy out. From the cradle... to the cold world... back to the cradle.... and to the grave.
Setting out on a journey to attempt to get to know my own nature ( gnosis ) and observing this phenomenon in myself and others has become interesting, even humorous, when compared to the understanding of most who fall into the status quo understand about addictive tendencies, because the truth of the matter is, there is a lot more in common between the highly successful entrepreneur with a garage of Italian sports cars, and the homeless junk-sick, plastic pint ov Georgies vodka, cart pushers the world over. In fact, if the shit ever did really hit the fan and our civilization and societies crumbled, I'd put my money on the junkie whore to survive over any fortune 500 CEO any day, for its not the lion, nor the tiger, nor the elephant cut out for survival in the harshest conditions, but the cockroach.... nature isn't always as glamorous as the postcards at the rest stops and in the shopping malls make it seem. When all bets are of, I'm placing one last bet on the guy who got all his calories for the last ten years from a dumpster, and survived more overdoses and slept more night's out on the street, in the gutter than most of our comfortable lazy western men and women could even begin to imagine. I'm betting on those that are breeding like rats in the trailer parks right now. And I'm also betting on my brothers who I know set out to grow stronger and strive to be a little harder to kill and a little less civil, a little more barbarous every single day.
I am aware that I have neglected this site, this blog since shortly after i have started it. In part, I began it in excitement for the 650 mile bike trip from New York City to Ulfheim in Lynchburg, Virginia I took with my Operation Werewolf Nordaustur Division brother Cody. But a few days into the trip, I found myself progressively less and less interested in documenting my trip for the outside world to see, because perhaps we had tapped into that cockroach mindset. I don't want to dwell on my absence too much, though i know it is very much related to this topic, for as quick as i returned was as quick as I found myself back into the cycles of negative programming... still haunted by the same,,, "Time waits for No Man...'...'If you don't have time, you don't have priorities'... 'Time is money...'Money is Freedom' ... I am struggling on some level still to analyze and articulate the experiences I have had in this life, including this bicycle trip, because they seem to transcend words, or at least media or language. This is where i believe poetry often comes into play. Though poetry requires meditation, a quieting of the mind, which becomes impossible for the man who has become addicted to motion, as if he could pack it into a pipe. This sort of money-centic thinking is counterproductive, because what is money for if not to help us to achieve greater freedom... greater happiness... greater ability to be the catalyst for the sort of change we want to see in our own worlds, our own lives... It's too easy to get lost in the grind. The grind is a great place to hide from ourselves, our responsibilities, and from our own reflections. In a world where I am so rarely impressed by the work ethic of others, and laziness and stagnation are so abundant, it is easy to feel high and mighty when you become helplessly drunk with delusion, addicted to that which they can't relate. I have met a few others who suffer from this same sickness though, and rare as they may be among the general population, in a crowded room, you can easily spot those that suffer from the same wounds. You can smell the anxiety, the hatred, the exhaustion on another man. And you know nothing you could ever say to him will make him stop, because you too won't stop.... Until you inevitably hit the wall at 120 miles per hour and pretend like you never saw it coming, like it was the wall that was the aggressor, it wad the wall that was out of line.
Be it psychologists, magicians, sorcerers, therapists, shamans etc. It seems often these people were handed some of the most knotted nests, the most impossible puzzles, the most challenging rubix cubes, many of which could never be untangled in a lifetime. Though through the complexity and immersion required to undo those knots, these people find themselves cast into positions of power, and success, teachers and mentors, whom others look to for advice and guidance, though in the silent darkness and solitude they still wrestle with the same knotted mess, alone. Like the unique image of each and every true unalome, we all have a different path to enlightenment, or to our inevitable potential life pinnacle and purpose.. I think of the meaning of the Japanese Yakuza. I find few know that the name 'Yakuza' actually translates to three numbers, 'YA', 'KU' and 'Za', which are the three numbers that make up the worst possible roll in a traditional Japanese game of gambling. These men, feeling that they had been dealt bad hands at birth, chose this name to identify themselves, While these men, as most all men who live in the high stress, high tension, high stakes, world of a violent underground warrior culture, likely live very tumultuous existences, certainly the average person could learn a thing or two from these men about functioning in high stress situations, and how to react to violence or how to conduct business because these are areas where these men have been tempered and sharpened like iron; created under pressure like diamonds. It is for this reason that I believe talk of enlightenment by Buddhist masters is an absolute farce. Its not that I don't believe these men have gone through great training, and built great discipline and suffering along with monumental experience, but I believe it all has to do with perspective. Who is the teacher and who is the student in any given situation?
“Look down at me and you see a fool,
Look up at me and you see a god,
Look straight at me and you see yourself.”
I am forced to think of Odin, who is a truly driven and obsessed being, constantly wandering in search of new knowledge and experience, the embodiment of 'Zen Mind Beginners Mind'. His name denotes a spirit of ecstasy and fury and excitement, a voracious character with an insatiable lust for knowledge. In the Edda there is one story in which Odin seeks the mead of poetry from a great well. Odin asks the keeper of the well what might be the price for a sip of the mead from the well? To which was replied' Your Left Eye'. Without hesitation Odin plucked his eye from the socket and flung it into the well and it is for this sacrifice that man can find and engage in the bardic current of creation of great poetry. In another tale, Odin, much like the Buddha, Siddhartha Gotama, (one could argue the same for Christ in the christian current) engages in an ascetic austere self-sacrificial ritual with a tree, the world tree, Yggdrasil. Odin hangs himself form this tree for nine days and nine nights with a spear piercing his side. For all these nights he surely screamed and writhed in wrestless agony until he inevitably submits at the foot of death's door and quiets his mind. It is then that he finally achieves the state on which he receives a transmission of knowledge of the ancient powerful Runes, whch translates most literally to 'whispers' that predate even the gods. It is for this sacrifice of Odin, our father's, that humans and gods alike have the runes today.
It is for this reason that I believe shamanic initiation typically requires a practitioner to experience near death experiences,great hardship, strife, and illness in most all traditions. In alchemical texts there is talk about the Dark Night of the Soul, And in many other traditions one will find intonation through ordeals and trials by fire. In more modern psychology, Carl Jung expounded greatly on the concept of the shadow self and its importance in self gnosis . It is under these conditions though that one learns what one is made of, so to speak... Study of Qulipothic magick brings one to a graveyard of darkness in which one can sift through and meditate upon that which got consumed by the darker addictive aspects. These 'Husks' are shells of what could have been but never grew into maturity. I think of the feeling one must of had as an opposing soldier coming upon the armies of Vlad Tempes, or Vlad the Impaler and seeing the men impaled on stakes for all to see, as likened to a deep diving into the dark side of the tree of life, though I would argue these macabre visions are essential for growh on all levels. As in weightlifting, it is only in the tearing and destruction of muscle fibers and breaking of limits do we ascend to the next levels.
This being said, this is where we need to bring attention and mindfulness into our life's practice. They say "No Pain No Gain" but is all pain equally beneficial to our growth? of course not. Not all pain and suffering is created equal. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And I believe this. Though the word intention might as well be swapped for the words 'Misguided Energies'. From the perspective of your boss, or your supervisor, or your mom, or society, or the police, or the politicians, or that cunt from your highschool, or your teachers, does it seem like meditation under a tree for 9 days is a good way to spend your energies? Or creating a painting? or going fishing with your buddies? Or waking up at 6am to do kettlebell swings? Or riding 650 miles on your bicycle to go get punched in the head and body slammed on a hard wood floor with your buddy after sleeping in the graveyard? Or updating your blog?! As someone on the frontlines, I am speaking to you out there as much as I am speaking to myself, don't get hung up. This is war. KREIG! Embrace the darkness, because sometimes we all need to hit rock bottom. Some of us need to hit it a few times because we have particularly dense skulls that seem to keep breaking our fall. 92!!