Monday, October 21, 2013

Hercules’ Seventh Triumph

As I have argued, Hercules has decisively “come into his own”: he has achieved the unstated goal of the classical polis, which was to become an Aristotelian unequal. He is not yet equal to gods, but he no longer lives under mortal law, because he has suffered its stroke, and lived (which is the only way to transcend it). He has passed through the difficult time of his hero saga. In any heroic legend, there are moments, particularly early on, when the hero is set upon by all seemingly legitimate forces. In doing so, these forces either illegitimate themselves, or show themselves to have been (in fact) illegitimate from the beginning anyway: they “fall away” before the great individuality. Traditionalists should never forget that King Arthur, King Alfred, Robin Hood, and any other number of folk heroes, saints, and strong men were initially persecuted, not merely or even especially by the wicked, but by their “own”. They are inevitably portrayed as “wolf’s head”, painted as demons or villains, and an attempt is made to exterminate them in the name of all that is sacred. Often, this attempt actually succeeds, and gives us legends of martyrs (at best) or legends of villains (at worst). Thus, the entire nation of Germany (for example) occupies the dubious position of being an arch-villain in the modern narrative, in which Kaisers and Barons and tool mechanics from the Wehrmacht fare no better than Hitler himself. The modern world has spent enormous spiritual energy probing the “dark side” of the nobility of Old Europe. How many movies have given us the stereotypical aristocrat who is bent on murdering and pillaging and oppressing those unlucky enough to fall under his aegis? Until an equivalent effort is made to diagnose and bring to light the even more hideous brutalities of the mob during the modern era (does anyone even count the number of automobile accidents on the roads against the “age of the Machine”?) we will not be remotely out of the woods. And there is a disadvantage – the educated classical liberals were well-equipped spiritually and intellectually to critique their predecessors, whereas we are much less able to critique the enormities that have emerged in the modern age of the Mass. So Traditionalists should expect to encounter massive reserves of energy that will attempt to blindly preserve their grip on power. This is one of the reasons I warned in one of my posts against violating General Law in an indiscriminate way: the mindset of an era represents a spiritual energy (however degenerate and blind) which is guaranteed to activate and suppress dissidence of any kind. We should be more adept at “reading the times and seasons”, and knowing what can be accomplished, and how it should be done. A great many people will make the mistake of becoming Don Quixotes, and end up being battered by windmills. It will not be easy, quick, or safe to extricate mankind from the spiritual darkness it has fallen into, over two centuries or more, in the West. Hercules started out as an underdog, with the gods against him, the nobility of the time actively seeking his death, and the common people (no doubt) simply channeling their basic desire to “witch-hunt” into the approved mode. Interested readers might wish to consult the subject of Ponerology for a closer look at this dynamic. In any case, in order to be a hero, you have to be willing to be painted (if the need arises) as a villain, perhaps even by those closest to you, not for the sake of the black hat, but out of a clear apprehension of what is right. Read King David’s Psalms, for instance, for more examples.

You must be willing to stand against the world, like Athanasius, if you wish to overcome it. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? In our time, the one position that is guaranteed to be a challenge to “all-comers” is the position of antique Europeanism, in the chivalric Christian tradition. It will infuriate almost anyone, for (indeed), we have all been very subtly programmed against it, given antidotes and immunization shots to prevent “catching it”, and taught in the very bosoms of our Churches that such a world should have never existed (at best) or even did not exist (at worst). Go and stand in some of the older Churches of Europe or North America. The pictures of the monks or founders or patrons tell a very different story from the bleak world we are taught that they inhabited. Read an older and sympathetic novel or biography of that period – something irrevocable has been publicly lost from that period. The clear look, the firm jaw, the clean heart – they are gone from our consciousness. They are submerged.
It is to restore such that Hercules comes. Not to achieve immortality directly, but to right what is wrong, and to spill sweat, tears, toil, and blood. Will he come unopposed and welcomed as a hero? He comes tasked with labors, and against the “odds and the gods”, against heaven and earth. Not everyone has to be a public Hercules, but everyone has a dragon or two in his circle that needs a-killin’. Rest assured, the dragon knows your name, and will exploit this. How else can evil exist, except to stay in the dark, and how else can evil have union, except in the dark? And who does not have dark within them? This will be an arduous progression.

For the seventh labor, Hercules is sent against the Cretan Bull. It is tearing up vineyards and terrorizing the island. When Martin Luther reared his head in the wolds of Germany, the pope noticed and said “a wild boar is loose in God’s vineyard”. We do not know all of what Luther had to reckon with, only that his coming marked the end of a unified Western world. When the Reformation was finished, the age of Atheism and Liberalism began. It may seem harsh to say this, and there are no doubt many things to salvage from Northern European spirituality, but Luther left Europe in rags and flames.
Interestingly enough, Hercules submits the bull of Cretes in a strangle-hold, refusing to kill it, instead sending it back to his royal tormentor, who wishes to offer it to Hera as a sacrifice. Hera declines to do this, and is offended, so the bull is shipped off somewhere else, and ends up being sacrificed to Athena and Apollo. Hercules has restored the natural order of things, the Logos, since Athena (wisdom) and Apollo (war/arts) are higher divinities than the jealous Hera, who is obsessed eternally (much like a feminist) with ancient and perceived wrongs and injustices that can never possibly be “righted” except by making more suffering now.

The bull is associated with animal-instincts and drives. Not only was Crete known in Biblical times as a lustful and lazy island, but the bull itself wreaked a moral havoc on the order of the island:
Minos himself, in order to prove his claim to the throne, had promised the sea-god Poseidon that he would sacrifice whatever the god sent him from the sea. Poseidon sent a bull, but Minos thought it was too beautiful to kill, and so he sacrificed another bull. Poseidon was furious with Minos for breaking his promise. In his anger, he made the bull rampage all over Crete, and caused Minos’ wife Pasiphae to fall in love with the animal. As a result, Pasiphae gave birth to the Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man. Minos had to shut up this beast in the Labyrinth, a huge maze underneath the palace, and every year he fed it prisoners from Athens.
The broken promises and moral decay had birthed the Minotaur, a beast which would also have to be slain by another hero. But that is another story. And here is a goodly lesson – it is better not to vow, than to vow, and not pay. If we fight with monsters, the only way to not become one is to keep one’s vows. This relates not merely to not using the dark arts (for one is already pledged to what is noble and high) but also to wisely watching one’s actions, not thinking more highly of Self than one ought. Some monsters are other people’s property – it is their destiny to slay them, and they are chosen to do so. If you wish to aid, aid them – do not usurp their rightful place as slayer of the beast. Slay your own beasts. The restoration of a proper moral Order in the thoughts and hearts of those who oppose the modern temper and spirit is the sine qua non of Victory, since the Victory comes from above, vertically, just as initiation does. Becoming Captain Ahab or Don Quixote will not do anyone much good. We should be looking around for the chosen ones, all the while, doing all we can to make sure we can hear the still, small voice ourselves, for God will surely call each of us to some labor of Hercules, big or small. In short, the restoration of Order will come in a divine web or hierarchy of spiritual intervention, with the sacred hero-priest-king as the focal point. Squabbling and in-fighting are trademarks of the Left, what thieves and criminals do when they have despoiled someone and are dividing the loot. A man of the Right stands for the invisible and absolute order which he alone discerns, and suffers to make visible. The unveiling of this invisible web, through each one of us, will annihilate the plots of darkness, but it has to be (as the old preacher used to put it) “all of grace” or “of God”. Here we see that Christianity still has a mission for the “New Right” – until something greater than it is found (and how could that happen, without victory?), victory will require a re-harmonization between Christian Tradition and the remnants of the West. This will be resisted on all sides, and itself proves that it is the salient point. 

It is entirely possible that Hercules could have died or failed, in which case, he would be portrayed as a massive freak and fraud. This risk will have to be born up under, but born up under wisely, and strongly, and with the best possible chance of success. This is the path of the strong – not to fight invincibly and surely, but to triumph over a multitude of doubts and anguish and sins within, and to win through (if God wills) against a greater multitude of such externally, to a doubtful and dark destiny, under the shade of the laurel and the oak and perhaps the cypress. Invincibility is coming, but for now, is not yet.
One of the greatest strengths and services and preparations for this is to read the exploits of the past and to “right the wrong” of the ancestors. Look at the Iron Guard, for example, and their fate. How could they have failed? Most men are simply unwilling to risk a similar fate, or even honor their memory, and so they conform in their thoughts. The man of the Right pays respect and honor to his ancestors, which means learning their stories and “righting the wrong” in his heart, both by avoiding their mistakes and faults, but also by re-baptizing their memory and burnishing it till it shines brightly. Only thus, in the path of the Past, can we expect to find blessing for the dangerous Future, and strength for the present. This will be unappealing to the immense majority of men, who are depressed by such efforts, and cling to a hope for a brighter future through democracy, chemistry, and modern organization. They are often more decent, more intelligent, and more accomplished than many who see the beauty of the Past for today. There are many emoluments, amenities, graces, and goods that accrue to those who forsake this fight, however reluctantly and with whatever good intentions. Others will mock the futility of the “martyrs”, and use it as an occasion to desert the men of honor from the past.

Nevertheless, after all, Zeus will be vindicated, and He is not mocked. Who will wear his laurel leaves? He who struggles to the end.

There are compensations. After each labor, you get to see Eurystheus hiding in his piloi, and hear Hera cackling with rankled and wounded pride. Zeus will send his compliments, secretly. Those who have suffered will acclaim you as their local hero. You will be allowed the noble and theatrical gesture of noblesse oblige. After all, who asked them to annoint themselves as god of this world? Who asked them to invade the past and obliterate it?
But the Consul’s brow was sad, and the Consul’s speech was low,
And darkly looked he at the wall, and darkly at the foe.
“Their van will be upon us before the bridge goes down;
And if they once might win the bridge, what hope to save the town?”
Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods,
And for the tender mother who dandled him to rest,
And for the wife who nurses his baby at her breast,
And for the holy maidens who feed the eternal flame,
To save them from false Sextus, that wrought the deed of shame?
A man like that might make a difference, no matter what may come. That is why creating a spiritual elite (nobility) is the first task of the Counter-Revolution. Those who wish for adventure, to see brave deeds and to truly live, will be drawn to their course, and will uncover the stone of their destiny, which may be dark or bright, victorious or defeated, but which will be uniquely their own, with their own name written upon it. And this stone is part of the final victorious Temple, so that the death of a Byrhtnoth is still triumphant.

Let me sum it up to be crystal clear – the Hero will fight wisely, not beating the air, with the best chance of success, but he will also fight nobly, not avoiding an inevitable or symbolic death if the situation calls for such. God is able to equally deliver him, in either way, either before or after his physical demise or failure.

Hercules’ seventh triumph is a public act of wrestling the immorality and violence of an entire island to its knees, and sending the trophy as a taunt and a gift to his persecutors. The death of the bull, sacrificed to two war gods of wisdom and the fine arts, founds an era of moral stability, which the slayer of the Minotaur will lengthen and perpetuate. He is almost invincible, and is now acting almost openly on behalf of Zeus.

Could a determined alliance between a remnant Church and honorable pagans (who understand the divine mission of Christianity) wrestle the bull to its knees, in the tradition of Mithras, and of the Christ of Revelation? If enough men advance through the Labors, it will be a real possibility. Perhaps there is a man out there, reading this, who has within him both the Church and Valhalla, and will embody this possibility.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Labors of Hercules: The Augean Stables

The Labors of Hercules, Part 5

The Augean Stables
Hercules does not go immediately into action or battle, following his insult from the gods: Hera’s madness that causes him to murder his own offspring is the “fall” or primordial condition of sinful man who is an enemy to himself and his own kith/kin, let alone everyone else – man as a “wolf to other men”. Finding one’s self in this condition requires “penance”, but is really not the loss of anything, since it is illusory to begin with – the hero doesn’t find penance distressing. The path out of his dilemma is not “out”, but “deeper in and through”. This we have seen – The Man awakes to his sinful or mad condition, & rather than rage against the gods, he shoulders his karmic burden, such as it is, channeling his energies into carefully executing the appointed labors. So the Leftist solution of railing at the universe or shaking one’s fist at the sky is a non-starter – change begins with the Self. But even further, with some change begun, one does not therefore jump up and “clean out the Augean stables”, by reforming the Church, cleansing the State, defeating the forces of modernization and liberalism, etc., etc. It is much easier, when awakened, to immediately but covertly “rage against the machine” by marching off to clean out the Augean stables: let’s reform the Church of Rome! Let’s get rid of our traitors at home! Let us take counsel together, and purge the earth of the presence of all that is impure!

No, Hercules has worked up to this condition, & is being given tasks to perform in a logical and precise sequence. He doesn’t nominate or choose himself for any of them – he is the man for the job, and even the gods recognize this, but the jobs are being chosen proximally by his enemies. He is submitting to government through Providence, and trusting in a higher power than himself. This, of course, means that within the Hercules-cycle, there will finally be no “higher Power” but Hercules, but that is for the final chapter, upon his exaltation as a constellation.

The Augean stables are a problem that everyone knew about, and no one had solved. We could say that this is “the modern world”. What in the world do we do with all the refuse and offal from the “madding crowd” which inhabits the round globe, one and all having fallen prey to madness and imbecility? How will this impurity be cleansed?

Once again, Hercules does not come raging in headlong, like a Conan the Barbarian or Pol Pot, bent intently on ridding the earth of “undesirables”. He uses the forces of Nature itself, altering their course, to bring together the natural remedy for such a large heap of trash and garbage: he seizes a river and changes the course, immediately washing the stables.

He does this, presumably, for gratis, as the labor will be determined a “failure”, since he did not rely on his own two hands to do it. Hercules has been more cunning than those, however, who cunningly disqualify the trick. He has succored fellow man and beast, through the bounty of Nature, and provided a tangible good to all of those who are beneath him. He has stooped and entered the world of “common man”. This is what makes of Hercules more than a hero and an adventurer, and begins to give him the title of benefactor or popular hero. He will enter the mythos as a man like unto King Alfred, who brought permanent peace to England by sponsoring and converting a noble pagan, Guthrum, thus creating the Danelaw and bringing a new era of harmony, although he Alfred was redoubtable in battle nonetheless. The gods and test makers disqualify this test, but one can see that Hercules would have done it anyway. Why? Because it needed doing. Often it happens that those who make the “most progress” esoterically are those who are least concerned about it, because detachment really means detachment. Have you ever heard of the old Puritan preacher who found peace in the thought that he would at least be a monument to God’s justice in Hell?
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down….
Tennyson has Ulysses say this, looking out over his realm.
That is the spirit in which to embark upon dread tests, to balance out the focus and energy one brings to them (also requisite). One must play the game because the game matters. In esoteric matters, it really is “how you play the game”. Intention and personal goals, rather than a lust for power, are relevant. Even personal salvation takes a back seat to the “point” of what is happening. A hero who has no time to “stoop” and assist someone is a hero who is worried too much about husbanding their strength. Spend it, and it will be given again. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all might. That is the path of Hercules.

His digression is actually part of the Zodiac pattern, which must in any case have 12, not 10 labors.
An important point Cologero has made over and over is that esoteric studies is not hostile to exotericism. This, in itself, is more than likely a result of the action of God upon the human psyche, as expressed in Christianity. It is now revealed that a man not only can, but ought, to pursue esoteric studies in harmony with the Logos: that is, if you desire enlightenment, you should not neglect the study of what “sane and noble men” of the past thought, how they comported themselves, and what they believed. It is permissible to “prepare for enlightenment” in this way – by finding mentors (in the past if necessary). If done properly (in a healthy way), this does not “add” to psychic accretions or burdens, but functions as a means of restoring normal function in the psyche.

For Hercules, this is accomplished dramatically in his willingness to do an altruistic and noble deed, even though it prolongs his labors, formally. He stoops to conquer, and aids the disharmony of Nature, with sheer physical power and the elements at his disposal. In modern language, this is the much derided “helping a little old lady across the street”. It is the Earps cleaning up Tombstone. It is Oliver Cromwell threatening to send English warships against the Turks. It is the hero standing against a playground bully on behalf of someone quite small. The hero, here, seems to forsake his task and disqualify himself – he is “distracted” by the enormity of evil around him. In reality, he simply does what a real man would do, if he comes across that which he cannot abide. This comes later in the growth of the warrior-saint. It is not an immediate goal, but emerges organically as he progresses. He is, in reality, being swiftly drawn out of his esoteric path, by a deeper current, which is directly connected to the Divine. This current only seems to cost him in the short run. In actuality, it defines the essence of what he will become, although he is not yet purely and entirely ready. It is reflected frequently in popular culture, whose subconscious is aware of much of these truths.

It is analogous to distracting the already distracted psyche by giving it a “bone to chew on”. In esoteric practice, this is Ora et Labora. This is the power that gave rise to the dominance of Christendom’s arms, time and again, against much greater odds, when by all rights, Europe should have crumbled, collapsed, or shattered under the hammer blows of a much more “this-worldly” religion – Islam during its height. The religion of silver, and of the crescent, was better organized, less complex dogmatically, more victorious in arms, and oriented towards secular power and monolithic outer form. Time and again, the waves of its seas lapped at the fragile edges of Christendom, and time and again, Christendom provided men who put a pause to their own progress to take up the sword in behalf of the altar. In secret studies, one one would meditate on images, icons, or sacred “words” or phrases given one by the Spirit, while one is learning to concentrate the power of the nous, first of all towards the body, then, into the psyche, and finally into the nous-itself, prior to re-divinization in the “Self beyond the Self”, as the nous travels back to God. Robin Amis teaches that the double arrow, or the straight line and the circle, symbolizes the power of the nous that is “in the world, but not of the world”. This might also be the double-headed eagle, so commonly seen in European royal symbolism.

Here, Hercules meditates on a relatively simple and mundane problem, but one that no one has been able to solve. He came, he saw, he conquered. It doesn’t matter what the gods decree – Hercules will finish, and the labor will count unofficially, if nothing else, in the popular mythology of the folk, who recognize the good deed for what it is. In any case, Hercules is now beginning to have “power to spare”.
A poem beautifully expressing this is Thomas Moore’s Prince’s Day. The body and psyche, “in chains” and suffering, nevertheless expresses a strong yearning for the will of the Prince. Paradoxically, the suffering and yearning of the body/psyche provide a “distraction from distraction” – the nous is turned farther inward, and the path rather than being deflected, is intensified. The ocean wave withdraws to gather its strength. I include the whole poem – it is part of the Logos, the gift of the true West to men. When the book of Kells was created, something was added to the religion of Christ (I say “added”, but rather revealed as latent). The East isolated images in their essential purity, but if you look at the pages of the book of Kells, you see knot-work, playful animals and creatures, and a kind of background dance and delight in Nature. The Celtic and Frankish saints who converted the West were immersed in the world, and yet, still, not of it.
The Prince’s Day
Though dark are our sorrows, today we’ll forget them,
And smile through our tears, like a sunbeam in showers:
There never were hearts, if our rulers would let them,
More form’d to be grateful and blest than ours.
But just when the chain, Has ceased to pain,
And hope has enwreathed it round with flowers,
There comes a new link, Our spirits to sink –
Oh! the joy that we taste, like the light of the poles,
Is a flash amid darkness, too brilliant to stay;
But, though ’twere the last little spark in our souls,
We must light it up now, on our Prince’s Day.
Contempt on the minion who calls you disloyal!
Though fierce to your foe, to your friends you are true;
And the tribute most high to a head that is royal,
Is love from a heart that loves liberty too.
While cowards, who blight Your fame, your right,
Would shrink from the blaze of the battle array,
The Standard of Green In front would be seen –
Oh, my life on your faith! were you summon’d this minute,
You’d cast every bitter remembrance away,
And show what the arm of old Erin has in it,
When roused by the foe, on her Prince’s Day.He loves the Green Isle, and his love is recorded
In hearts which have suffer’d too much to forget;
And hope shall be crown’d, and attachment rewarded,
And Erin’s gay jubileee shine out yet.
The gem may be broke By many a stroke,
But nothing can cloud its native ray;
Each fragment will cast A light to the last –
And thus, Erin, my country, though broken thou art,
There’s lustre wiithin thee, that ne’er will decay;
A spirit which beams through each suffering part,
And now smiles at all pain on the Prince’s Day.