Once upon a time, the wealthy would-be elite hired alchemists to toil in their basements in the hopes of free gold. Now, the seekers of truth toil in their own kind of solitude, uncovering their own depths and facets as they discover and explore the occult and ignored worlds within the meme-mesh of linguistic spells and behavioral conditioning that passes for consensus reality. What slithers just outside our peripheral vision is a world of injustice, horror and depravity that sickens the soul and begs the question, what can we actually do? Fight, yes, of course, but how?
Before we play at being knights we have to understand the quest that calls us. First, one notices The Program of the Outer Game and feels its slowly-acting poison, then one rebels and lashes out with fire and lightning. Galleries, libraries, and record stores are filled with the often beautiful and empowering results of this urge. Yet after its initial thrill, rage only exhausts us and creates ripples of new harm that amuse The Adversary. Some never leave this Dantean cycle, but some begin the dance of initiation and realization. In time it is these who seek to change the code of the Outer Game itself.
We can all choose to go from played, to player, to programmer. The seasoned Hermetic axiom "as above, so below; so within, so without" served the alchemists of old and it can serve us today. The journey from slave of circumstance to sovereign co-author of the universe is a life-long walk uphill, but when the fog of mesmerism parts, we find it is the only path there is to walk if we take freedom seriously. The Inner Game must be mastered to shift the variables of its worldly counterpart.
The mantle of the Great Work we have taken up and dusted off unfolds through the various works that we all do, unsung though they may be. It is the doing that matters, the persistence that pays. The dark gnosis oscillating beneath the veneer of the Verbal Hologram can be exhausting, even consumptive to behold and accept. There many are trapped and dissolved by the carnivorous vortices of despair.
As angels told us when we were on speaking terms, "be not afraid." Apocalypse has come to mean sure doom, but its true meaning is a time of unveiling and change. Revelation is terrifying and wonderful. As we dig and expose and bring to light, it's good to be reminded to serve and heal self in order to serve others and combat Our Situation, The Con, The Adversary. We each recognize the Hydra differently from our own perspective and we each feel called to sever the head nearest to us in the hope of more freedom for all. We must, however, take the wise old advice of Nietzsche and avoid becoming monsters ourselves as we fight the Beast, through sins of omission that make us less than who we are.
The first thing to do is to honor your body. In a time when we are being tugged at by the gravity of immersive technology it is ever more easy to forget the actual feeling and needs of physical life. It is therefore a radical act indeed to resist the cultural siren song and take damn good care of yourself. The flesh is the interface of all our work and we are often quick to take it for granted. The service we are called to requires us to be our best. The sound mind requires the healthy brain, and the brain requires certain things of the body to work at its true potential. Your human vehicle may seem common or flawed to you but it is very special and very demanding. Do not get mired in guilt and regret. You already know where you have slipped and where you can strive, but let us visit a few suggestions to remind you.
Drink water. It sounds simple, but many of you may be drinking lots of coffee to dig and lots of booze to forget. Both will rob you of water. Hydrate sufficiently and be sure to replenish your electrolytes. A good rule of thumb goal for daily water intake is to take half your weight in pounds and use that number of ounces. It will seem like a lot, but as you pass on soft and hard drinks in favor of water more and more, you'll feel the difference. Filter it as you're able, for Lord knows the tap is a gamble. Take magnesium in water if you can, as it calms the nervous system.
You are what you eat, so eat as well as you're able. Whole foods (meaning fruit/veg/grain/nuts etc rather than processed, not the chain store) will deliver the purest and most sustaining energy. There's a combination that will work for you and you owe it to yourself to find it. The less processed, the closer to vitality and the further from the well of toxicity and addictions which beget illness and dependence on drugs.
It's all your choice, but the less you feed from the animal kingdom, the less suffering you send into the pain collectors that feed the demons of this world, and the less you diminish yourself with the resonance of the abattoir. Keep up with your vitamin C and zinc to stave off the ubiquitous viruses. Clean fats like MCT oil will give you more and better energy than processed carbs. To be an alpha, get your omegas. Rebuild your gut biome and watch your cognition and intuition rebuild themselves and grow. Finally, eat your greens.
Get out and get moving. Shake your heart and lungs to life with activity. Go anywhere, but go. Have a walk or a ride around the block as often as you can. Fresh air, natural light, blood flow, and stimulus unrelated to the mystery that plagues your mind will all recharge you. Tearing veils and processing what is revealed can be very taxing, and we must give ourselves a break between digs to stay fresh and useful. Whether those that eat your pain are the archons of the Gnostic lore, the demons of the Church, or the 0.01% Wendigo Class of vulture capitalism, they all depend on burnout and collapse in those who would expose them. Starve them with your grace.
This will seem hardest: get enough sleep. Insomnia haunts many an investigator and activist. Whatever dreams may come, take the hints, but keep your sense of humor. Balance the nightmare fuel with something light, even funny before bed. Laughter clears the soul of ghosts. Relaxation is as much a need as oxygen. Do as much as you can to reset the mind and prepare it for rest. White noise or calm music will help. Soma FM is full of useful material for this and runs 24/7. I recommend the "Drone Zone" station. They're worth supporting, as are all that increase the calm in this frenetic world.
The most punk rock, righteous thing you can do in a destructive culture (and ours at the moment is an empire of death cloaked in lip service to virtue, make no mistake) is to be creative. Your voice is the one that needs to be heard. Keep adding truth to the conversation in person and online, but also, create. You may make the art that saves a life, and if nothing else it may save yours. Take time to express all that is building inside you. Transmute the poison, or just drain it off. The alchemists were playing with fire for better reasons than minting gold. There are bacteria that eat radiation. Life adapts and loves to redeem its obstacles. Learn to smile at and accept your pain before burning it for light.
When you are overwhelmed, that is the moment to show yourself love immediately and do what must be done to ground yourself. Again, I urge you to explore meditation, yoga, or benign magick if you're so inclined (banishing rituals are a great idea). Also, do truly random acts of kindness. People open like flowers when they're seen and served. Explore your best and worst aspects. Write down your rambling thoughts, especially the hideous. Get the shadow out where you can see it. Learn what you can from its point of view, and dismiss it politely. Fill the space it leaves with love. You'll never run out of room.
Day must always dance with night, but out of darkness cometh light. To quote another hoping to inspire those who fight darkness, "Do not lose heart. We were made for these times." We can all feel the tremors building. The towers are tipping. The Kingdom is within us. Babylon is nervous. This is it. Don't give up. Thank you all, strangers and friends alike. Good journey, fellow travelers.