Darrick Dishaw is a fellow student of G.I. Gurdjieff’s Work and is also knows as Venger Satanis, leader of the Cult of Cthulhu. On Friday April 28th, he posted a blog entitled The Asshole Quandary and he invited me to give it a read via private message on Facebook. I am re-posting his article and my response to provide an example of two distinct interpretations and expressions of the Work, which may serve to clear up some misconceptions about the pursuit of self.
The Asshole Quandary by Venger Satanis
Assuming you’re not an asshole, I’d like you to tell me why you’re not an asshole. Why? It’s probably not a question you usually ask yourself.
Some may think that it doesn’t make a difference. I disagree. I believe it makes all the difference in the world – and at its root such things can tell us if we’re right(eous)… if we’re well suited to the Work. Esotericism needs favorable circumstances, that’s true; however, it also requires us to start with good material. A student of the Work is deemed good material if he has both a positive attitude and aim.
Attitudes and aims come in all shapes and sizes. Negative ones discount the possibility of ascending the current Octave. Those with a negative attitude feel that life is what it is, achieving smaller goals of limited scope is perfectly acceptable to them… especially if they don’t have to put in a lot of effort. That’s fine. Such individuals have little time for Octaves, Higher Forces, or transcendence and, as such, don’t have a lasting interest in esoteric pursuits.
Those who have a negative aim want to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve because they are emotionally damaged in some way. Such folk would rather harm their enemies, for instance, than focus upon their own shortcomings and how to overcome them. In other words, they are not good material. People who say, “The end justifies the means.” have a negative aim. It’s difficult to imagine a lot of external consideration coming from such individuals.
All this goes back to the asshole quandary. Asshole: briefly defined as A) a stupid, mean, or contemptible person. B) the worst part of a place or thing. C) a worthless or annoying person.
A blatant asshole, like the expression of a negative emotion, is a red flag – easily recognized and thrown out. A non-asshole can go one of two ways. He can either not be an asshole because he’s trying to survive, perhaps even flourish, in this prison we call a world. Such a person is just as much programmed to not be an asshole as he is operating from learned behavior. “When I’m an asshole to others, sometimes others are assholes back to me.”
The other kind of non-asshole is the aforementioned good material which the Work is seeking, those who can find the Way and travel it. This third type makes effort towards not being an asshole because it’s the right thing to do, it’s in his nature. Instead of trying not to attract suffering, he tries to be good, to alleviate suffering. Now, a lot of us are sucked into bad situations populated by worthless people (worthless from an esoteric standpoint). Even if not being an asshole is in our nature, there are times when one has little choice in the matter. Under those circumstances, do the best you can… and find better circumstances ASAP!
For those curious about this, go ahead and try it. Imagine the difference. Start with negative emotions. Instead of destroying the negative – create positive. That doesn’t mean one has to be naive. It’s ok to be cynical, jaded, and skeptical. Yet, and this is important, one must strive to see(k) the good… no matter how much bad there is around us.
Positivity is defined here as… A) characterized by or displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation. B) Measured or moving forward or in a direction of increase or progress. C) Composed of or characterized by the presence of particular qualities or attributes; real.
Positivity is active whereas tearing away at the negative is reactive. Start with the latter, at first, if you find it easier, but always keep an eye on the former. Being positive is just as cleansing as becoming the void, and it makes those exterior parts of the self, such as false personality, transparent. That’s what we want. Too much filter robs us of illumination. Who can do careful, precise work – especially if we’re unsure of exactly how to perform it – in very poor light? Get rid of the filter so there is nothing obstructing or obscuring the view of our essence or soul – the part which needs our attention.
Lastly, I’m not going to sit here typing away and tell you that I’ve never been an asshole. I have been, I can be. It happens to everyone. That’s not the issue. The issue is that some of us occasionally make efforts not to be an asshole… and for the right reasons. Without allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, ask yourself if you’re truly being a positive force in the world. Would you rather be a decent human being because it benefits you or because it will benefit someone else?
Venger As’Nas Satanis
Cult of Cthulhu
Jason Sorrell’s Response
Thanks for the link. I think your post is an excellent introduction to the ideas of right-thinking, right-action, and the struggle to be self-aware. Some of the points presented might be a bit over-simplified, but I am assuming you are trying to speak to an audience unfamiliar with the pursuit of self via the Work.
For example, a “negative attitude” is any attitude which denies the potential of self, usually based on external influences which are incorrectly incorporated into the self-identity. “I’m not good enough, so I won’t try.” Being responsive predominantly to external influences with no consistent self leads to reactionary behavior; vengeance vs. justice and “the end justifies the means”. When your identity is the composite of external influences, your rationales will also be based in external precepts.
Suggesting that a “negative” attitude or aim is the result of emotional damage might lead some of your readers astray. It isn’t a matter of emotional damage per say, but rather it is the common state of any machine that lacks real emotions. The emotions are not damaged, rather they are unrealized or under-developed. Again, being externally influenced and responsive almost exclusively to those influences, their focus is also off. They are only really damaged relative to the possibility that they might operate more efficiently, or more correctly, but in their current configuration lack the tools or even the awareness that other possibilities exist.
Being an asshole may mean to many of your readers that someone has an acute self-interest. Usually it is a condemnation we make of others rather than an assessment of our own behaviors, especially when someone acts on their own behalf and in the process denies what we think we needed from that person. That kind of self-interest is sometimes necessary, as is the sometimes pointed expression that results in that opinion of our efforts.
Your blog may lead your readers to attempt to access and grade the behavior of others (“he’s an asshole”) more than making an assessment of themselves (“did I need to be an asshole?”). Your analogy of good vs. bad material may lead to some thinking that if they determine another to be an asshole then the asshole should simply be “recognized and thrown out”. Since the only mind we can know is our own, such assumptions are incorrect. As you point out, being an asshole is not a constant state. The most we can say is that their behavior is not favorable to our needs at the moment, or that they are not in a place that is conducive to where we are at. That may change in time. The most we might do is be aware and on-guard against such outbursts and attitudes in ourselves.
Still, a very good primer. I am certain you will have plenty of opportunity to clarify these points to your students as they arise in the future.
I feel that these two examples present a nonobjective and and objective perspective on the work. Darrick presents what might be seen as a kind of agenda, he wants people to treat one another better as well as not letting those people who might treat you poorly get you down. While that is a noble intention, the Work requires a kind of obsessive self-interest. Gurdjieff warns against being overly concerned about the opinions and attitudes of others, and especially against trying to assume or ascertain another person’s relative personal development. The only person you can know, and truly serve, is yourself. You may act on the behalf of others along the way, but always with your own goals at heart.
That level of self-interest means you sometimes will be perceived as an asshole, even a self-righteous asshole. This is just the way of things. The trap is in becoming wrapped-up in another person’s trip, which is often harder to avoid than one might think.
There is a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.
What are we trying to accomplish here? What is our purpose in presenting the Darkhorse Ideology and our thoughts about life, the social order, and what it is to be human? People have read this blog and asked if we are forming a new organization. Are we trying to form and lead a movement, a new school, or even an army? Do we think that we have the answers that other people need, or the truth that others seek?
To these questions, I would respond “no”. It is not our intent to lead a mass of people, to cultivate a following, or anything so altruistic or trivial. In my previous dealings with other organizations, I argued against the betterment of man for man’s sake. I opposed the idea of offering our example as a charity or kindness to those around us. “Leave the dead to the dead”, I said, “and let sleeping lions lie.” Trying to lead for the sake of leadership, for the power-trip of being a leader, teacher, master, or whatever other nonsense one might choose to indulge in, is ultimately self defeating. I have no interest in giving anyone anything, or being the lead dog on someone’s personal sled.
Everything we do here, I believe, is purely to serve ourselves. I am not an altruist. I am a pragmatist.
The only leader worth following is one who leads by example, and then it must be an example you yourself would wish to set. Leaders do what they do, not to be leaders, but because it is in their nature to act. A leader would take the same action even if no one else were there to follow the example. A leader does not concern himself with titles or the recognition for his efforts. A leader focuses on the goal.
My goals are simple. I am a Dark Horse. I wish to cultivate and develop my powers and slip unseen from the reigns of this world. I seek the truth of myself, and the freedom I am convinced will result. I am unequivocally selfish in this pursuit. I don’t care if anyone else gets there, I am only concerned for myself. If you are in my way, I will remove you. If you run with me but are a risk to my goals, I will trip you and let whatever might be chasing us have you.
We cannot be concerned about the well being of others. Time is too short.
I do, however, recognize fellow Dark Horses. I recognize my peers who are strong in mind and spirit, clear in vision, and absolutely committed to their own pursuit. We all share them same wolfish grin and hungry glint in the eye. I watch for them, because what one might do in a year, two might do in eight months. Five might do the same in four months. Time is short.
I watch for you, because I know that as I succeed, I will come under the scrutiny and attack of others. There are those who prefer to sleep, and those who would prefer that we remain asleep, and both are fearful of the noise that I make and the nightmares my example no doubt causes in the placid minds of the dead. My example exclaims that they fail at life. My example points to their hypocrisy. As such, my example is one that they cannot tolerate.
Fear the power of sleeping people in mass!
One Dark Horse can be overwhelmed by five, maybe ten sleepers. Two will hold there own against 20. A dozen can handle hundreds with ease. There is strength in numbers, but only when one is aware that each becomes as weak as the weakest among them. The wise, therefore, seek only their equal as companions and compatriots. Loyal, yes. Supportive, absolutely. But also ever vigilant for weakness, sloth, decent, and treachery, as any who recognizes that they began alone and will end alone must be.
You are ultimately responsible for yourself. Live your life for yourself and no other, and expect no other to live their life for your sake.
Part One: The Self is Distinct From Body and Mind
Everyday, I am becoming more convinced that the only pursuit worth the effort is to know myself, and that all other efforts, aims, and goals are derivative of this one pursuit. You might say that the purpose of Individual and Aware life, at least in my mind, is to know yourself. This is distinct from the purpose of life in general, which is the continuance of that life via the delivery of its genetic qualities to future generations. The parallel development and purpose between the self and the biomass that houses it is at the core of my theory.
When considering the self, this concept of being that we all seem to grasp yet continues to elude our understanding, we might ask where the self resides? What is “the self”? The most simplistic answer might be that the self resides in the body, or that the body is the self. I believe that this is incorrect, that the body is a vehicle for the self, the machine that the self uses to engage and interact with its environment. The body does not seem to be infused with this idea of self. When I clip a hangnail from my fingers, I do not sense that my self is diminished, and I imagine that even if I were to lose a limb my “self” would remain intact. My vehicle might be extremely hampered, but I would be no less me. Our language indicates this line of thinking; there is a distinction between what we mean by “me” and “my body”, though sometimes we mistakenly extend our sense of self to our body and even beyond. People in a car accident often exclaim “He hit ME!” when in fact they mean “He hit my car.” If extending self to a person’s possessions, like a car, is incorrect, then I think it is also incorrect to consider the body the self.
Unfortunately, part of our social indoctrination includes considering possessions as an extension of our being. If you are not born with it and cannot take it with you after your life has ended, it cannot be you. We bury the husks left behind by the departed. There are cases where the body and autonomous systems continue to function even when consciousness has ceased, resulting in what is referred to as “brain death”. In those situations, the medical opinion is clear that the self, whatever it is, has vacated the premises. Since the body did not leave with them, then can the body be the self?
The next most likely answer is that the self resides in the mind, or that it is the mind. What I think is meant by “mind” in those instances is the mental processes the physical organ of the brain produces. The idea of “mind” extends also to those processes, experiences, and perceptions. I believe that the assumption that the mind is the self it also incorrect. The mind, like the body, is a machine… a tool used by the self. It is the controls the self uses to manipulate the body and the processor through which information about our environment and experiences is translated in a meaningful manner. The physical aspect of the self, the brain, is merely another organ of the body. If the brain is damaged, does the self diminish, or just the capacity to function? Again, there are medical examples of trauma to the brain resulting in amnesia so severe that a new personality, sometimes even with different skills, emerges to replace the identity that was lost. If the self where the mind, would this be possible?
One might argue that the processes supported by the brain, the mind, is the self, and therefore the self is simply an elaborate function of the mind and not distinct from it. As complex as our minds are, we have managed to duplicate its processes artificially. Computers have been built that, when we discuss processing power and functions, far exceed the capabilities of our minds. Yet, the awareness which this argument suggests is an extension of those processes is not present in those machines. Awareness, I believe, is integral to the self. While the processes of the mind (and in the future a computer) may support this awareness, this self, there appears to be a distinction between them.
The brain, the mind, and its processes are a vehicle which can support and house consciousness, or the self, but the presence of the vehicle does not necessarily mean the presence of a driver. Lower animals have brains which in some cases rival our own in regard to development, yet our consciousness, our sense of self, appears to far out-strip any other example in our biosphere. This self, or consciousness, may be a phenomenon occurring as a natural evolutionary trait… simply an elaborate survival mechanism. If that is the case, why is it not present in other animals given its obvious success? Why aren’t there examples of other primates creating civilizations, or cetaceans striving to communicate with us? I suggest that it is because when discussing consciousness as a survival mechanism, specialized senses, thick coats of fur, and sharp teeth are far more advantageous than an overly developed frontal lobe. Consciousness is distinct from, and not imperative to, the survival of a single organism or a species. I believe it might serve another purpose.
Part Two: Parallel Development of a Material and Non-Material Universe
If the self is not the mind and not the body, then what is it? What is its purpose? From where does it originate? I have been a proponent of the idea that immortality is a function of species, that the clear biological function of any organism is to pass on its genetic material to future generations. This idea suggests that all species are in fact one super-organism, and possibly that all life on a sphere is a massive hyper-organism. Immortality is not present in its individual components, and while the experiences of one component may be of use to the process of improving the viability of the species, ultimately it is only the biological imperative which is of any lasting importance. Life lives, with little concern for anything else. With this in mind, the only kind of immortality that an individual personality can hope to achieve is through their actions and their impact on the culture of their species. I have said that we should build monuments in time to our greatness to influence the future.
While I still support this idea, I am now uncertain if that is the real limit.
I find myself considering the possibility of a parallel development which is supported by the biological and material development of our universe. All matter comes from one source, as far as we have been able to discern. Our bodies, in different proportions and combinations, are made of the same stuff as stars. When I considered in the past the phenomenon of self, of Awareness and Consciousness, when looking at the diverse fauna of our planet, my initial conclusion was that this Awareness and Consciousness served no real purpose other than being a relatively unique evolutionary tool for seeing to the future viability of the species. We are the smartest monkeys, and all our development and enlightenment makes certain that our sperm and eggs continue to dominate our biosphere.
When I consider, though, the hyper-organism, all life on our planet, the purpose of Awareness and Consciousness, of self, becomes readily apparent. As richly diverse as life is on out planet, it cannot survive because it is locked to this one sphere. As Stephen Hawkings has pointed-out, the destruction of this world, given enough time, is a mathematical certainty. The only way in which life survives is if it thrives and expands to new environments, to leave this biosphere and inhabit or create a new one, life must have an organism which is Aware enough to recognize the imperative and Conscious enough to create the means to deal with the problem. A clear marker of the presence of Awareness is the understanding that the death of the body is inevitable and Consciousness is denoted by behaviors which indicate the organism acts in accordance to this awareness.
Look around at your fellow smart-monkeys and ask yourself how many of them act as if their inevitable demise is a reality, let alone the potential demise of their species. Life requires the evolution of Awareness and Consciousness in order to become truly viable on a universal scale.
I would propose that the human species has evolved to support and house the Awareness and Consciousness of the biology of our world. Just as the brain houses the Awareness and Consciousness that drives the body, the Aware and Conscious members of humanity might be the housing for the Awareness and Consciousness of our biosphere. Our interactions, properly organized, are leading to a Global Awareness, and eventually a Global Consciousness. Not a hive-mind, but rather a biosphere Awakening, with the survival of the life originating on this sphere being its priority. This imperative originates with the life on our planet itself, which is rooted in the formation of the planet, itself spawned by the formation of our local star and its system, to the organizing of matter an energy of our galaxy, to the on-going reorganization of the universe. Everything in our universe is simply a different energy-matter matrix, a particular expression of potentiality.
Stars exists for millions of years. They proceed from instability in molecular clouds which cause the material to coalesce into one body. The gravity of the mass eventually results in hydrogen fusion. Fusion continues through the elements until iron results, and the star begins to collapse and die. The whole process takes billions of years, and in the entire time of the star’s development its fate is already known. It is, as far as the development of new and ongoing energy/matter matrices, a dead-end. A super-nova may agitate the molecular structure of other clouds which begins the process anew, but this is not a matter of choice and the result is the same in future stars. Evolution does not occur.
Without the presence of life and the possibility of Awareness, energy and matter would continue the process of expansion, re-organization, and collapse infinitely and with no change or purpose. This is the state of a purely material universe, and if this were the totality of the universe then Awareness and Consciousness, or self, would be superficial or even counter-productive. If, however, there is a parallel process involved, then self becomes of tantamount importance. The explosion of the “Big Bang” leads to the expansion and re-organization of energy/matter matrices. Some conditions produce stars, and in turn some conditions produce planets which might sustain life, and then life develops under the proper conditions and in some of those biospheres it develops to the point of being able to support Awareness. This Awareness, in some cases, supports Consciousness. In Consciousness, we find a matrix that is the most rare of all the expression in the universe. It is a matrix that can be self-determining. Just as the imperative of biological life is to survive and thrive, it is possible that the imperative of Awareness and Consciousness is to break from of the material cycle of our universe, to create something which may be able to endure the “Big Crunch” and beyond.
If all material for our universe and every energy/matter matrix within it has a common source, then I would propose that it is the same for Awareness. This is not to suggest a “god” or creator deity, but simply a hidden universal Awareness that co-exists with the obvious universal body. Just as humanity is the Awareness and potential Consciousness of our biosphere, so might all Conscious biospheres be the Awareness and potential Consciousness of this universal self. Just as each organism is a component of the total material of the universe, then each Consciousness is a component of the universal totality. “God” would be an over-simplification. In our own biosphere, we see patterns and processes repeat; cellular function is akin to the function of the organism is akin to the function of the species is akin to the function of the biosphere. As below, so above.
Part Three: Cumulative Awareness Leads to the Rise of Consciousness of Greater Magnitudes
While a universal Awareness may be under development, it is far from Conscious. Lower animals display indications of awareness of a rudimentary sort, but not Consciousness anywhere near our degree of development. Again, I believe that the eventual universal consciousness will not be a hive-mind, but a collaborative interaction between all conscious beings with a singular priority.
When a material body dies, it is reintegrated into the mass to eventually be re-organized and expressed in another matrix. Using what has been established here as our model, it seems a rational possibility to me that our Awareness, distinct from our matter (neither body nor mind), would also re-integrate into the mass-Awareness. Undeveloped, that Awareness would simply disperse and be re-organized into a new form. Matter returns to the local communal pool of total matter that makes up the planet, just as the planet will eventually return to the total communal pool of material that makes up our star-system, and so on. Awareness might also spring from a communal pool which our species has become developed enough to house and express.
What that communal Awareness lacks is a communal Consciousness which allows for self-determination. It is the Conscious Self which has a lasting quality. This is apparent in our own history; those members of our species who demonstrated what seems to be a great Aware and Conscious Self have also often left a lasting mark on our society. Their works continue to inspire (move the spirit) others, which suggests that something of themselves lives in the material world. That something lacks consciousness, and yet also inspires greater Awareness and Consciousness in others. The immaterial is having an influence on the material.
If consciousness can be likened to a kind of energy, even in some instances measured by its absence at the point of death (a measurable drop in electrical charge, biochemical interaction, and even the weight of the body), and energy does cannot be destroyed, then we can establish that there is something permanent and lasting derivative of the human experience. Undeveloped, this “carrier wave” might simply disperse, but what might be the result if the Consciousness is trained, disciplined, and well developed? Might that Consciousness take on a quality that differs from its origin? Might those qualities lead to changes in the communal pool of Awareness and increase the likelihood of cumulative species, biosphere, galactic, and universal level of consciousness?
What communal Awareness lacks is a communal Consciousness which allows for self-determination. Our species is not yet developed enough to allow for a significant portion of the population to arise as Conscious and able to integrate our disparate parts into a unified whole, even if briefly. I do not believe that this potential even requires the Awakening of all, or even a majority of the species. Indeed, such an event might be disastrous. Our own brains are divided into different functions, with only a portion of its neurons dedicated to conscious thought. Our species may require that some of its member-cells remain Asleep, handling other tasks while its conscious cells deal with critical judgment.
The same potential model for survival via Consciousness would be necessary on a universal scale to escape the cycle of material integration/de-integration/re-integration. Again, I believe that this would be the imperative of a collection of Conscious beings, and that said Consciousness would have to be so successful in their development and viability that escaping that cycle would be the last barrier to cross before breaking into a truly new manner of existence.
The necessity of such beings in this model leads me to postulate that Consciousness via Awareness can be sustained and self-determined, avoiding dispersal upon re-integration with the communal Awareness, and in fact changing the nature of that Awareness to make the possibility of other Consciousnesses enduring re-integration possible. The proposed “soul” as an immortal aspect of the self is therefore not a fore-drawn conclusion, but rather a possibility. Within each of us resides a mote of a soul, the potential for a dynamic Awareness which may become a true Consciousness and achieve self-determination. Immortality may be possible, but it requires recognizing and developing that within the concept of self which is lasting; not body, mind, or even personality. I can not point to it directly, but like the evidence of black holes being their effect on the surrounding space, I am beginning to think that there is evidence present that suggests the mechanisms I am describing at work.
The Ideology of the Darkhorse is first and foremost be on the route to self-actualization and self-determination, the discovery of the self and the mastery of the self. Whenever an artificial system of law or rule has been established, it has resulted in corruption which eventually leads to collapse… what we are witnessing in our societies today. The concept of maturity is being in a position where no man need tell you what you can or cannot do. You are responsible for yourself, earning your own rewards or suffering the consequences which are natural results of your choices and actions. Our society is in a perpetual state of adolescence, playing at life instead of living.
The Darkhorse is the engine that is unseen or unexpected. The Darkhorse is the wolf in sheep’s clothing, the rip-current in calm waters, the mass of the iceberg not apparent based on its slight presence on the surface of the water. The actions of the Darkhorse are subtle, intentionally hidden, meticulously planned, and executed with precision. The Darkhorse is the unseen opponent of the system which stands in plain sight. The Darkhorse is the sucker-punch, the hidden knife, and the cosmic joy-buzzer. The Darkhorse seeks mastery over his enemies through the mastery of self. He who knows the self can never be slave to another.
A Darkhorse uses experience to determine certain truths by which they live. A Darkhorse fully expects, based on experience, that the sun will rise in the morning somewhere in the East, and will set in the evening somewhere in the West. A Darkhorse knows, however, that while experience is an excellent teacher, it is also subject to change. The sun may rise and fall tomorrow as it has done for eons, but a Darkhorse knows that only a fool would consider any event a certainty. Observation in the moment is the only way the world can truly be experienced, not through the results of the past or the expectations of the future. For the Darkhorse, the now always is the priority.
Put simply, the reason that artificial codes of law fail is because shit happens. The Darkhorse knows this, and is not surprised or daunted by it.
Thus, as a Darkhorse, it is not our intent to offer to anyone a code-of-conduct, laws, rules, or any other edicts artificially foisted upon others. Instead, what we offer are standards which we have embraced ourselves, standards with which we test the reality around us. We follow the examples of others, and will no doubt see our examples followed, but we strive to remain always ourselves in the moment. These are the standards of our tribe, our Klan, what each self-actualized Individual, who we consider a brother or sister, chooses to use as a base for their own behavior. We do not ask people to change themselves and conform to these standards, but rather suggest that those who already apply these standards to themselves may have a place amongst us. Ours is a living, evolving process, and as we test and discover what assists in meeting our goals (and what does not) these standards will evolve.
We are unabashedly elitist. We have no interest in converting or even recruiting from the mundane herd. We are different, and those who sense within themselves the same kind of difference are welcome to participate in our Klan. To stand amongst us, one must first realize that you stand apart from all others. Self Actualization is the full Awareness of Self as whole distinct from all that is around us. Those who stand with us must sense this potential within themselves, act in a manner which this sense dictates, and in an effort to further this Actualization.
An example of our effort to be distinct from the sleeping world is in our use of language. We strive for our use of to be more precise. When we say “human”, we mean something far more definite than the up-right walking hairless primate you might see blankly staring into the distance on their daily commute to their assigned slave-pen. Language in its common use is slip-shod, allowing for ambiguity in meaning and complacency in thought. The precision in language is just one example where we make the effort to define ourselves for ourselves, insisting that our words are precisely what we mean, and not what one might think is inferred.
Though there are many who might appreciate what we have developed here, and even be in agreement with the majority of it, if they do not share in our methodology and goals with the same commitment, then they are not a part of us. The methodology is simple, seek the truth of the self and the world around you in each moment, strive to be only that which you are, and work to better yourself. The commitment to this must be nothing short of total.
We are unabashedly at war with a system that we recognize is making slaves of all of us. Our war is a guerrilla-war, a war of attrition, a war of ideas and physical acts. We are opposed to the mundane concepts of State, Government, and Institution. We seek to replace the society with one consisting of small self-governing communities in which each member of a community is a participant as a matter of choice and not happenstance. We seek a social order not based on a moral code of conduct, but rather a personal sense of honor and rationality. Instead of forcing a person to conform to the ideology of the State, we strive for a society where one has the freedom to seek out a community that is best suited for themselves or to form their own community if none can be found. While in time such communities will come to manifest hidden in the plain sight of our enemies, we for now begin with a diaspora (Greek: scattered) community of Awakened and pre-Awakened individuals.
Our community, and the way its Individual members conduct themselves, is based on the following basic standards. These standards continue to remain consistently valid, but are not dogma. Evolution should be expected:
This idea, living an honorable life, is what defines us. It determines our Individual behavior and by choosing to live in this manner we are faced with certain undeniable consequences of that choice. Striving to live an Honorable Life binds us as a cohesive community and distinguishes us from those who live without honor.
Living an Honorable Life, for us, is the only life worth living. If we cannot live as self-determining Individuals, if we cannot be more than the slaves of a faceless and soulless system, then we would prefer not to live. Our Honor is why we resist, why we fight, and why we strive to forge for ourselves a new way to live. We each recognize that it is better to die fighting for the right to live Honorably than to live without Honor… indeed, life without Honor is no life at all!
Honor means that we cherish those who are of our own kind, the brother and sisters of our Klan, above all others. We cherish them as we cherish ourselves or more so. We are prepared to come their aid and defense, even at the hazard of our own lives, fully aware that they share the same urges regarding us based on our common and shared Honor. Those who are as we are seek to live, in a real, active sense of life. Life cannot be sustained in isolation, but thrives as Individuals work toward mutual benefit. Furthermore, only the living can tend to the the living. The dead tend to no one.
Those who are not of us, who do not share in the same sense of Honor, are of little consequence. The only real danger they present is in their numbers. They do not deserve our respect or trust, and should be dealt with cautiously. Those who lack Honor may often prove useful in some circumstances, but we should always remember that they are children dreaming arrogantly of being adults, and deserve our contempt because they lack the courage, strength of will, or vision to be as we are. They are the plants of a poorly tended garden. In this garden we must tread carefully to avoid the thorns and brambles. We must be watchful of those flowers which will bare the sweetest fruit, and transplant them to our garden when we can. We must be prepared to pull a few weeds if necessary, knowing though that in the end it is best to allow this garden to choke on its own excess and random growth.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, means to be fully prepared and willing to defend ourselves; physically, philosophically, and spiritually, by any means necessary. We must be ready to die for our Honor, and fully prepared to use lethal force in our Honor’s defense. We must be mindful that our war is ongoing and our enemy is relentless. We will let them marvel at our victories while wondering at our methodologies. Hasten not your end in brash flashes of valor, but strive to grown strong while the enemy grows weak. The broken and the dead have little or no defense.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to be loyal to our brothers and sisters, those who share in our Honor. We must defend them as we would defend ourselves, at the risk of our own lives if necessary. We must respect them as we respect ourselves. No one Individual has the right to tell another how to live, but in that we have chosen to live with Honor, those who share this ideology are as much a part of ourselves as is our own arms. To each of those within our Klan, we swear a personal oath of loyalty, respect, and kinsman-ship. We would rather die before violating this oath. If we are defined as distinct from all others by any means, it is by this standard alone.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to seek justice and comeuppance for any misdeed against ourselves or the members of our Klan. We will avenge any act of dishonor towards ourselves or our brothers and sisters. This is not meant to be a compulsive obsession with vengeance, but rather a simple balancing of the books. Remember that when you call someone your enemy, you are calling them your equal, worthy of your admiration and energy. Do not waste such high praise on fools. The wise know when they have been wronged, and when they have been merely distracted momentarily.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to be prepared to die before submitting to the tyrannical system of the mundane world. Every act should be an act of defiance. The system by it’s very nature seeks to strip us of our Honor. Death in defense of that Honor is a Warrior’s Death, and we are each prepared to die as Warriors before allowing ourselves to be dishonored and humiliated by that system. Submission to that system is in fact a kind of death, a slow and painful purifying of the self, the ultimate lie in denial of the truth. Every breath in opposition to the system and in pursuit of the self is a breath of life. Every breath in submission to that system is a breath toward inevitable suffocation.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to recognize and understand that no oath, pledge, or promise offered by one who lacks honor can be trusted. Thus, no one who is not of us can ever be trusted to keep their word. No plans should be made which rely upon one who is not of us to fulfill their obligations. Those who are not of us should be dealt with cautiously, if dealt with at all. How can one who does not know themselves promise anything to another? The person who makes that promise without a sense of self will cease to exist, replaced by another who will not feel obligated to what was promised, who might not even remember what oaths where given, and who will probably resent be held accountable for the words of their former self!
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to recognize and understand that our word, pledge, or promise is our bond. This, we do not give lightly. We fulfill our obligations. To fail to do so is to be without Honor, to be labeled a coward, and to be considered unworthy. Our word given, even to one without Honor, is an obligation that we must strive to keep. Our words must be truths. Therefore, think before speaking, know what you are saying, and remember that the words of an Awakened Man may as well be written in his own blood.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to recognize the value and strength of an Oath. It would be unwise to give one’s Oath to one without Honor. Once and Oath is given, the Individually giving the Oath is Honor-bound to fulfill it. The Oath can only be released if it is fulfilled, the person to whom it was given releases the person who gave his Oath from his obligation, or the person to whom the Oath was given dies. An Oath is recognized among our kinsman as one which is preceded or proceeded by words “By my Honor…”.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to settle our serious disputes amongst ourselves. When a dispute cannot be settled, we should seek the arbitration of a mutually trusted and neutral kinsman. If that fails (the kinsman cannot come to a decision), and if neither side is willing to concede, then a trial by combat or duel will settle the dispute. Anyone who impugns our honor or that of our kinsman will be challenged to combat. It is therefore wise to always let that which truly does not matter slide.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to accept the consequences of our decisions. Thus, if we have a dispute with a kinsman, and we seek arbitration, then we must accept and abide by their decision. Once decided, we must consider the matter closed and behind us. Keep in mind that we are all going to die. There will never be another like ourselves or the man with which we have a dispute again. Pity the fool who wastes time engaged in the trivial pursuit of imagined slights and inconsequential games of one-up-man ship!
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to treat our kinsman not only as we would wish to be treated, but as we would wish to treat ourselves. When dealing with members of our Klan, we should strive to be kind, generous, fair, and courteous.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to recognize that one cannot meet the needs of others until one has done all that can be done to meet your own needs. Thus, it is the responsibility of each member of the Klan to see to their own needs and the needs of their households to the limits of their abilities.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to recognize that the need of one kinsman is the need of all. Thus, no kinsman should feel shame in asking his Klan for aid when aid is needed. While each kinsman should take pride in their ability to help another in need, no kinsman should expect a return on that which is given, or to place an obligation on the one requiring aid. That which is given should only be given freely. If one cannot give freely, then he should not give at all.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to always strive to act with wisdom. Be patient and contemplative. Seek the greatest benefit for the minimal risk. Be prepared to act when opportunity presents itself. Do nothing to dishonor yourself or your Klan. While being prepared to die, it is better to be alive to fight on. Suffer consequence only when consequence serves a purpose.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to recognize that all your choices and your actions are fully your responsibility. We are at war, and in war comes risk. If you risk too much, act to rashly, or without proper preparation, then you must accept the consequences of your choice. To accept those consequences as your own is an act of Honor. To draw blame to others, especially your Klan, is an act of a coward. No Individual will be ever be given orders. Every Individual must make their own choices.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to recognize and understand that every Individual has a right to choose. If a kinsman has no Oaths to fulfill and wishes to leave the Klan, then he should do so with no ill-will. If a kinsman leaves the Klan to avoid fulfilling an Oath, or is forced to leave because he dishonors himself or the Klan, he should be labeled a coward and harried whenever opportunity presents itself. If one such as this continues to dishonor the Klan, he should be neutralized. Suffer not fools.
To live with Honor, to be self-responsible, is to ensure that we share our ideals with our mates, and to pass these ideals on to our children, allowing for them when they come of age to make the choice to either live as we do or live among those without Honor.
Those who can live by these standards may be able to call themselves a Darkhorse. We recognize our own, and act accordingly. To be one of us, seek one of us.
The following are the proposed standards for a potential community of Darkhorse Klan members residing in the same geographical area, ideally within a neighborhood, suburb, town, or city where the majority of citizens are members of the Darkhorse Klan. Modifications to these directives for our current state of diaspora are written in italics. If no modification is present, the existing directive is considered applicable to our current state.
Each member of the community must demonstrate the ability and inclination to provide for themselves. This will be best demonstrated by having gainful employment and if employed by another party also having some manner of self-employment that they are actively engaged in. While scattered, any means of acquiring one’s needs is valid, but self-sufficiency is ideal.
Each member of the community must understand and agree that the community’s success is based entirely on our Individual ability and dedication to the support of his or her fellow members in the community. Each member of the community is expected to be able to see to their own needs, turning to the community for support only in dire circumstances. The community will regularly gather, share, and distribute resources contributed by each member’s surplus that they voluntarily donate to the cause to help ease the burden of being self-sustaining, but no one member of the community can become reliant on that aid save for those who situation is extra-ordinary such as significant illness or extreme old age. In diaspora, each cell will have to determine how and to what extent this should be executed. It is wise for each member to try to generate a small surplus, and for each member to share with others what is needed and what is available.
Each member of the community must recognize that the success of the whole is tied to the success of the Individual, thus it is in each member’s best interest to support by whatever means are available the efforts of each Individual member. Such support need not be financial. It can be word-of-mouth promotion, participation, or assisting with tasks in another member’s projects. This also has the benefit of creating varying opportunities and experiences for all members of the community, increasing each member’s skill-set.
Each member of the community must have the ability to defend themselves from outside attack. Owning and maintaining weapons, especially firearms, is expected and encouraged. The study and practice of a martial-art is also useful.
Each member of the community must recognize and respect the sanctity of a fellow member’s house and household. The community will have common property and common meeting areas, but one’s home remains one’s castle. The community will come together to assist with the maintenance and improvement of each member’s residence, but only at the behest and within the wishes of the member who resides there.
Each member will swear an Oath of Loyalty to one another, recognizing each member of the community as their brother and sister. This will mean respecting the sanctity of the romantic relationships of other members, the life-style choices those members may make, their rights to property and well-being, and their opinions and perspectives. Each member will be expected to come to the aid of another member of the community whenever called, to provide support whenever needed, to share hearth and home whenever required. Those who turn to their fellow community members in time of need will understand that while whatever given to them is given freely, they have an obligation as a matter of honor to do all they can to support the community and their benefactors by any means available to them and to as quickly as possible become self-sustaining once more.
Every member of the community 17 years of age has a voice in guiding that community. Once each month, the community will gather, break bread together, discuss their concerns as Individuals and as a community, and make decisions for the benefit of the community as a whole. If an emergency arises requiring the immediate attention of and a decision made by the community, three members may initiate a gathering and vote (when practical).
Every member of the community recognizes and understands that the community exists distinct from the surrounding society, but also as a part of that society. Its survival in that tenuous state requires that outsiders perceive the community as no different from the surrounding society. Therefore, every effort must be made by each Individual within the community to handle any issues or conflicts within the confines of the community. What is done within the community stays within the community. Outsiders should only be called in under extreme circumstances. We are able to live differently only as long as we are perceived by outsiders as not being any different than they are.
If a conflict arises within between members of the community, the community encourages that the members in conflict work together to come to a resolution. If the members cannot resolve the conflict on their own, they may call upon a mutually agreed upon arbiter from the community to come to a resolution for them, agreeing to abide by whatever decision is made. If the arbiter is not able to come to a resolution, the community as a whole may be asked to vote on the issue, again with the members in conflict agreeing to abide by whatever resolution is reached. If members of the community in conflict are unable to abide by the decision reached either amongst themselves, with an arbiter, or within the community, they will be excommunicated.
The expression of Awareness is exceedingly rare in our species, at least developed to the degree that is of any real importance. The nature of the universe, and everything within it, is perfect. All things in their current state are perfect, it is only our perception of these things which can be imperfect. We are in the habit of not seeing things as they are, but rather as we would wish them to be or how we are told they are. We are programmed to be enamored with the illusion of imperfection; either the misinterpretation of the truth or the purposeful denial of the truth, so much so that most of us will not have the chance to be more than what we are. We will go on believing we are aware, living lives deceiving ourselves and doing things we disdain, only to end no differently, or perhaps worse, than when we began. This is as it should be. Most will not seek to develop themselves in order to become something more. We are what we are, whether we remain the same or choose to be more. Perfection exists in either state, whether we are aware of it or not. Our delusion is also perfect.
Consider pain. Pain is often a negative experience, in that we tend to prefer to avoid it. However, pain is necessary in order to keep us aware of that which harms us and to allow us to act in a manner to help prevent irreparable harm. Pain teaches us how to interact with our environment, and by contrast allows us to truly appreciate that which is pleasurable. Yet, there are schools which teach that pain is “evil”, or the result of imperfection in the world. Pain is an aspect of life, one of the many aspects that let you know you are alive. It may be preferable to avoid pain when possible, but it is no less perfect than any other aspect of our existence.
It is the nature of this perfect universe for potential to be discovered and expressed. Fire burns until its fuel is extinguished. Water seeks its level. The body grows and changes within the parameters set by its genetics. We contain within ourselves the ability to inhibit the expression of our potential. Like pain, this ability is not imperfect or evil, it is merely an aspect of ourselves which is necessary and can benefit us if properly understood. Awareness cannot be achieved without the effort to find it, thus the ability to be closed to our potential, to even deny our potential, serves as a counterpoint which teaches us about our potential. The perfect engine of change in our universe is adversity. Potential only fully manifests when expressed through the birth canal of conflict. Our species must earn Awareness in order for it to manifest. Only those tested by the false nature of our perceived existence will appreciate the fruits of greater Awareness.
We have all encountered men and women who inspire us by their example or have qualities that we see as desirable within ourselves. They may have great beauty, physical prowess, impressive intelligence, emotional depth, or other traits which suggest something special, if not superior about them. Some people we encounter have a quality which suggests a greater sense of being, of human potential being expressed in a manner that is uncommon. Just as encountering superior expressions of various qualities may inspire us to develop these qualities in ourselves, it is contact with such uncommon expressions of potential that is often the impetus of our own exploration of self. The difference is that while greater beauty, strength, or intelligence are common expressions we may readily observe, the potential for greater Awareness is hidden from the majority because its expression is so rare.
Unless a person is fortunate enough to encounter an expression of greater Awareness via art, literature, music, or direct contact, the person is unlikely to seek greater Awareness for themselves. This leads to an interesting tangent; if Awareness cannot be explored in ourselves without first encountering its example, then how did the first person come to seek greater Awareness? Keep this question in mind, as I will discuss it in a future writing.
If we are fortunate enough to come into contact with something that suggests greater Awareness, there will only be a few of us that seek it within ourselves. Only a few of us have that inner fire which hungers for growth and senses the lie being perpetuated by the system we experience each day. Many who encounter that example will have already been broken by that system. They will make excuses as to why that potential which is within all of us is denied to them. They will see the development of greater Awareness as unimportant when compared to the demands of the world, when in fact just the opposite is true. They will see the effort as too difficult, or themselves as too limited to ever accomplish what has been demonstrated by others. They will see the example of greater Awareness and be stung by it, and turn away. Only a rare few of us will see it as an inspiration and personal example for our own lives.
Of those that try, only a rare few will find a path that leads them to greater Awareness. There are many paths to greater Awareness, but far more paths that lead to dead-ends. They are dead-ends because the death of the self is where they lead. Some will make the mistake by misunderstanding what greater Awareness is, and will seek to better themselves by some means tied to this world. This world, for all its pleasures and distractions, is finite. How can one achieve something lasting by means rooted in this finite world? The pursuit of money will bring wealth, comfort, and a plethora of hedonistic pleasures, but there has yet to be born a man who’s wealth served him once his life was ended. Others will be lead astray by false teachers, some who think they know the way but are misguided by ego or the incorrect teachings of another. Others will be false intentionally, preying on those who lack the ability to see the truth. The majority will simply not know where to begin, and end their search before it even starts.
Of those who find a proper path, many will fail because the way is arduous and fraught with peril. The pursuit of a true path boarders on obsession. Such single-mindedness will alienate the seeker from those around him. Friends and family will raise doubts within him about his efforts and will question his motivations. He will be ridiculed by his fellows who do not share in his pursuit. The indulgences of the world will call to him like a siren’s song, urging him to put down his burden, to cease his toil, and to do what is easy. Many who start down the path will turn away before the goal is reached. Their hearts will lack the strength to achieve it.
Of those who find what they seek, many will turn away because what they discover troubles them. They will discover the truth, and truth is undeniable and unchangeable. It can be nothing other than truth, regardless of what we wish it to be. It is what it is. Of those that find it, they will not accept it. Their conceptions of self will be destroyed. The world that they thought they knew will be gone, an alien landscape hostile to their existence. In the face of truth, most whither away, seeking the world again and willfully going no further. They will be forever haunted and bitter about that which they experienced but could not accept.
Those, however, who can see the potential of their own beings, who find a proper path, who pursue that path to its end, who discover truth for themselves, and who can face that truth and embrace it, they will be transformed. To them will be revealed the real wonder of the world and themselves. They will see in fullness the perfection of all and within themselves. Those that know and embrace truth can no longer be imprisoned by the false reality of the world around us. Their minds will be like gardens where only they can decide what is planted there. For those rare few, freedom will be a achieved. Tested, challenged, and tempered in the forge of adversity, they will emerge with something lasting within themselves.
Awareness is a potential born within us all, but rare are those whom are favored with the circumstances within which such potential may be explored, who come into contact with the possibility of greater Awareness early enough in life, and who have the will to pursue its development in fullness. This is also a perfect aspect of our world. If greater Awareness was not rare and difficult to attain, it would lose any meaningful purpose, leading to stagnation. The universe is not trite, it is dynamic. If we are to fulfill our potential, we must seek to develop an Awareness which is equally dynamic. The journey may be hard, but the effort provides many rewards.
Tsun Tzu said “Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”, “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”, and “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”
I have sworn an oath to a lifelong discipline, of creating a self which has the awareness, foresight, ability, and strength to recognize and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Seeking out and utilizing every technique, tool, tradition, weapon, power, and philosophy which lends to producing this result. Just as the magician over time, learns and develops new tricks and perfects the old ones; this Darkhorse is constantly evolving to expand my repertoire. I am certain most would wonder why; why undertake this discipline? The answer to that lies in the three quotes from The Art of War.
To know thyself is an ages old pilgrimage, undertaken to some extent by all of man. Some journey just far enough to come only to a superficial understanding of themselves. Discovering just enough to feel justified in claiming authority over themselves, and therefore assuming qualification to lead other men to themselves. Never recognizing their transformation into detractors of consciousness. You see consciousness lies, not in knowing some cosmic truth; but in the stride to attain that truth.
“And all cosmic truths become known to everyone on those planets because those beings who by their conscious efforts learn some truth or other share it with others, and in this way, little by little, all cosmic truths become known to all the beings of that planet, whatever may be their aspirations and degree of self-perfecting.” Gurdjieff – Beelzebub’s Tales
Notice Gurdjieff does not mistake ‘truths’ for consciousness in the above quote, nor does he seem greatly concerned with revealing these truths. He plainly says that all cosmic truths become known, regardless of the aim or qualification of the seeker. Seemingly, as if we were to just sit back and wait; all truths will be revealed to us over time. So if we accept this as a truth, the natural question arises; why then did Gurdjieff conceive of The Work?
“For, as I have said and written many times over the decades, our attack on the Old Order, on the mundanes and their societies and their governments, is on many levels, just as our esoteric Order – our association of sinister individuals – exists on many levels, each with a task, a goal, and each attracting, evolving, individuals of a certain type, a certain sinister nature. This is how a living-being is: complex; of various diverse forms ultimately (esoterically) co-operating in certain ways (whether consciously or unconsciously) to enhance, to increase, to reproduce and extend, the life of the living organism to which they belong.
Thus Vindex and our tribes are exoteric signs of our living, of our acausal presence in the causal world of the mundanes, and of a new type of life coming-into-being on this planet we have called Earth.” – Anton Long
Long like Gurdjieff and Tsun Tzu, recognizes that transformation is inevitable; save that which is in the hands of the potter. To shape the pot however, requires you know many things on many levels. You must know your hands, you must know the clay, and you must know the wheel. If you don’t know the fire, you’re left with a weak pot. Should your mind be without a clear image, you cannot draw its shape. So for this it must be practiced, worked at; grown.
I wanted to put these thoughts down, as a primer for a future post. If you have thoughts, I’d like to hear them. “A thousand battles, a thousand victories”, so subtle is it not? The Puritan Mandate needs purged, should you aim to rise above. Diligent and deliberate, two of the hallmarks of The Insidious Way.
No one recognizes the Darkhorse!