Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Bardic Circle Episode 2: Staying Grounded in the Heart of Darkness

Libertas/Nevermind and Immortal Watchdog discuss the events in Charleston, New York City, the social atmospheres that contributed to them, and how to stay grounded with a positive new narrative.

- Intro.
- 1:40: An overview of the shooting in Charleston.
- 4:55: The "rationality" behind the crime as compared to other mass shootings.
- 8:15: The plight of the omega male in America, the social atmosphere turning these males into radicals.
- 31:47: The tangent of the Confederate Flag, the whitewashing of Civil War history, the erasure of history by radicals of
all kinds, status whoring of SJW's that are primarily white Northerners who don't really give a shit about blacks in the
1:03:10: How do we set a positive example for omega males that might fall through the cracks? How can they figure a way out?
1:13:00: Glory through action, action as inducing men to follow the example of winning men, with an example. The place of
pride and confidence in a healthy society, instilling guilt instead of virtue in modern society.
1:19:20: Fostering natural talents in people as part of the path, the place for a dual power strategy to deconstruct the
narrative. Glory is possible - but only with work.
1:22:32: How do we stay grounded in the heart of darkness? The internal sense of self-worth and grace in staying grounded,
the importance of immunizing yourself from defeat and failure through failing. Goal-oriented callings to ensure that no
void gets filled with destructive behavior.
1:33:31: There is some light shining into the darkness. #GamerGate's victory, recent information coming out of the Freddie
Gray case in Baltimore.
1:42:50: A breakthrough is waiting to happen, embracing the challenges with vigor.

Interview with a Confederate soldier on the mindset of those fighting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Bardic Circle Episode 1: Finding True Glory while Enduring the Freak Show

A Bardic Circle was a place for our ancestors to go to hear and share beautiful stories and music. This new stream/podcast will be ostensibly about sharing stories based on two major themes - kicking ass and navigating the freak show we live in.

June of 2015 appears to be a particularly freakish month - and it's only half over. Episode 1 of the Bardic Circle is with a longtime buddy and accurate social critic, Immortal Watchdog. In it, we discuss the freakishness we've seen this month, some underlying causes behind the freak show the West has become, and the need for a new philosophy to counteract the degenerate narrative, one based on a return to achievement and beauty that is at once fulfilling individually and socially. This lifestyle philosophy is what I call "True Glory," which I think will be crucial for a new overall social narrative. We talk about what it means and the mindset to get there.

- Intro.
- 1:27: Immortal Watchdog on how technology contributes to the freakishness, and relays his story of attending a conference of leaders in different circles, division among the Latino community's politics, but nevertheless a uniting to "keep the crazy at bay."
- 4:27: The division between old school liberals and the "social justice" crowd, with some personal examples, and #NotYourShield.
- 9:45: Bruce Jenner and the lionization of transgenderism - bordering on child abuse, malicious attention whoring, and the shortcomings of psychology as a science.
- 18:54: Deconstructivism and the "Social Justice Industrial Complex" - degeneracy as a form of self-aggrandizement.
- 20:08: Information access and narcissism in the West.
- 23:05: The need for external struggles, using my grandfather's example. The race to the bottom with the need to create a struggle from nothing.
- 26:43: Mattress Girl makes a porno.
- 32:51: "Rape culture" as a fad, and the skepticism that must come when examining public rape accusations, "Roosh's Law."
- 37:16: Real rape cultures.
- 38:55: "Rape culture" as part of the Social Justice Industrial Complex, the abuse of Title IX, and perverse incentives.
- 43:07: Does college serve a purpose anymore? The negatives surrounding universities in the present economy.
- 45:39: Despair and stagnation in the West leading to neurotic behavior as seen in "social justice." Possible futures.
- 52:30: Resource shortages and more on possible futures.
- 1:01:32: Rachel Dolezal and "transracialism." Is oppression the the aspiration of Westerners now? Is that the calling?
- 1:09:40: The disconnect between African immigrants and African-Americans, how the left has failed Black culture, identity politics supplanting the New Deal Coalition, with disastrous consequences for the groups it claims to represent, politics and voting as a tribal activity.
- 1:17:40: Correcting social issues, manufactured problems, and irresponsible media manipulation.
- 1:22:09: Future social problems centered around identity and resources, irresponsible media manipulation continued.
- 1:26:22: The Duggars and the hypocrisy vis a vis Lena Dunham, and the normalization of pedophilia.
- 1:42:33: IWD's Libertarianism, the deadness of Europe.
- 1:44:58: Social justice in action in New York City with Bill de Blasio as Mayor, libertarianism must have with it a "duty to the polis."
- 1:50:25: Status whoring by showing how "tolerant" you are and how that relates to politics, Hillary Clinton, her failures, and identity politics driving her candidacy.
- 1:54:51: The True Glory philosophy a part of the answer to the neuroticism and degeneracy in the West.
- 1:56:53: Bruce Jenner as an example of kleos gone wrong, the cosmic perspective, the necessity of accomplishing work greater than yourself.
- 2:00:56: The genetic legacy you leave behind as part of your work.
- 2:03:56: The capability of humans to leave behind a legacy beyond their DNA as being the most important part of the work, the ethos of the Homeric heroes needing to guard against disgrace to their names.
- 2:05:30: Anyone can leave a mark on history, the civic obligations in blood and deeds, the individual combined with the social responsibility in True Glory.
- 2:12:46: My own path.
- 2:13:18: The need to not be destitute even while pursuing your path. The average person probably needs to find a glory in the pursuit of wealth like Crassus or Rockefeller, however, the pursuit of wealth for its own sake can lead to misery.
- 2:16:01: The hero who failed in his lifetime, but whose deeds are known afterward, the unsung hero as a model of nobility.
- 2:16:19: Pursuing True Glory does not mean you'll get there, the importance of doing the work, the fickleness of fortune, the danger of a dopamine rush without the work - these are the actions of a drug addict.
- 2:19:20: The importance of faith, convictions, and enthusiasm in the integrity of your work and beliefs, how they must never be compromised, get up every day wanting to kick ass, even when your own ass gets kicked, the example of Marcus Luttrell in BUD/S.
- 2:23:03: The role of the ego and delusion in pursuit of True Glory.
- 2:25:51: Kleos as the social perspective to keep your work from getting neurotic.
- 2:27:28: The bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, analysis of the battle and its effects, and analogies to today.
- 2:37:30: The need to put forward a different narrative to "social justice," and some last thoughts on the path.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What is True Glory?

You will always find in me the same perseverance in labor, the same firmness of resolution, the same love for my people, the same passion for the prosperity of my state, and the same ardor for true glory.
So said Louis XIV, the most powerful and memorable man of his age.

For a long time now, I have been thinking about what it means to live a good, purposeful life. Those who know me will know that I detest the culture of the modern Western World, calling it degenerate and soulless. Why is it, I keep thinking to myself, that we now have people from first world countries joining ISIS? Albeit this only has happened in very small numbers, why would people from the West, often educated, even conceive of joining such a group?

I pondered this a bit further. The only conclusion that I can draw is it is part of a desperate search, because life in the West has completely lost all meaning. There is no "It" factor - no drive or guiding cause that people are fervently devoted to and will risk everything to bring to fruition. There is no drive to greatness. There is no greater call to labor for something magnificent. There is only a race to be the biggest degenerate attention whore.

The leader of the free world. This is it? Is this what the West is offering?

The West used to have "It." The followers of George Washington at Valley Forge and Morristown who didn't desert had "It." Joan of Arc's soldiers had "It." As a friend of mine rightfully remarked, Martin Luther King and his followers had "It" too. Henry V's speech in the Shakespeare play of the same name personifies "It:"

Having thus elucidated perhaps on a long tangent, I return to Louis XIV. He had "It" as well, as did France throughout his reign. Although he was born lucky, he did not rest on these laurels as did his successor, Louis XV. He had a clear vision of what he wanted France to be, a clear vision of bringing glory to himself and his country, and worked long and hard to fulfill that vision. He was not just attractive as a king, he was attractive as a man. He was willing to embrace hardship to make France and himself great.

Embracing hardship is another key concept that is required to attain True Glory, and it is a key component of why the West is spiritually dead, but more on that in a moment. Seeking True Glory is something akin to spirituality. When doing so it almost feels like you are conversing with your higher self.

For most of the existence of civilization, religion served as a guidepost for people's lives. It gave them direction and focus and it gave them a cause to serve. Religion was the great task for people to devote themselves to accomplishing, a task that went beyond mindless immediate self-gratification. It took effort and sacrifice to serve your god, and saving your soul, in certain traditions, was a lifetime commitment. Other traditions had other commitments, but they all had commitment in common. The tangible rewards might not have been apparent to most people, but they were certain that the otherworldly rewards for their spiritual labors would eventually come.

Joan of Arc's devoted service to France was, in her mind, the same as her pious service to God.
Let's turn back to Louis XIV once again:
Two things were without doubt necessary: very hard work on my part, and a wise choice of persons capable of seconding it.
Louis was a man that would not be satisfied with anything less than sensational, and the only way to achieve something of that nature is precisely through the method he outlined above - very hard work on your part and the right kind of help.

So.......what is True Glory? How, exactly, do we define it?

In my mind, True Glory is the achievement of something spectacular, something that people will remember you by for a long time to come. The story of Achilles is one that exemplifies this. He had two choices: stay in Greece and have a loving family, but be forgotten, or go to Troy and live a short life full of glory, where his feats, and hence his name, would be spoken of from the lips of the countless generations yet to be. Although the Troy movie didn't quite do the story right, I think it more or less got that part down as well as it could:

Which fate would you choose?

Fortunately, in the real world we likely won't have to choose an early death to achieve True Glory.

The ending of this video about Louis XIV also I think gives us a good obituary, and lets us know unmistakably that he had achieved True Glory.

True Glory can thus be seen as a massive and...glorious accomplishment (or accomplishments), worthy enough for people to remember you by long after you die. The ancient Greeks called this kleos (everlasting glory and renown - "what others hear about you."). Fortune is too fickle regarding who gets remembered in the end, but living a life worthy of remembrance and admiration is a goal the elect who choose to strive for it can achieve. All of the Twenty Men on my list achieved (or have achieved) states of True Glory in their lifetimes, but in their own different ways.

The physical, tangible reminder of Louis XIV's glory.

However, that end is a privilege. Very few people wind up achieving states of True Glory.

As you can see, this is quite different from simply, "finding your life's purpose." Quite often "finding your life's purpose" means the following:

Flailing about in, to again quote Louis XIV, "inactivity and indolence," a narcissistic hedonism from which you essentially accomplish nothing. #YOLO, it's all about me and what makes me happy, yo.

Someone can easily say that his life's purpose is to sleep with as many girls as he possibly can, devolving into the worst PUA bullshit along the way. While a good sex life is certainly a component of living a fulfilling life, and Giacomo Casanova (one of the above-mentioned Twenty Men) did achieve a state of True Glory partially in this way (through the literary acumen he had to pass his exploits down), better things can likely be done, and Casanova was more than a seducer, but an interesting adventurer.

Breaking out of prison was one of Casanova's feats.
And we can go down the list to even less worthy endeavors. Some might say that they can achieve True Glory in bullshit causes that simply make them feel good, or even worse, basking in attention whoring. None of these are worthy of remembrance, and none of these will bring True Glory, only mediocrity.

The difference between True Glory and "finding your life's purpose" can therefore be seen as an added objective element - will the sum of your life's work be worthy of remembrance in the eyes of others ("what others hear about you")? While you must not live for others, this element requires a degree of contemplation beyond hedonistic drives. In essence, it ensures you are not an island unto yourself, which "finding your life's purpose" can often be an excuse to mean.

Attaining True Glory requires a great deal of discipline and fortitude to deal with setbacks. You must fervently believe that the thing you're doing is right. If you don't, you will not have the vigor to achieve the glory. All of the men on the linked list, even though there was surely an undercurrent of opportunism, felt to their bones that they were doing the right thing for themselves. People that achieve states of True Glory are filled with unbridled enthusiasm, ready to go out into the world and kick some ass, even when at times, it's their own asses that get kicked.

Modern Western culture does not have this, and it is not promoted. We are told instead to be isolationist automatons whose purpose in life is to be consumers. Technology has made this worse. It is perhaps not so surprising that destructive ideologies take root, as they offer adventure and meaning where there is little to be found in a sedentary, consumerist lifestyle.

The iPhone camp. This is, so we are told, the good life.

In that same regard it's not so surprising to me that many people are becoming social justice warriors. While the rise of the social justice warrior is I think a confluence of many factors, this is one of them. Our lives in the industrialized world, long devoid of any real hardship or challenges, inspire a lack of drive, especially with decreased economic opportunities (despair is the other side of this particular equation, but that will be addressed in another post). There is a very primal quality in philosophies that offer not comfort, but struggle. They call to our deepest needs. Part of the reason that war stories resonate with so many people, and why people are fascinated by war, is because it requires a courage, valor, self-sacrifice, and discipline that peacetime rarely does. This is why, in the absence of any other struggle, people seem to need to make up their own struggles, no matter how irrational or destructive, to find meaning. ISIS and "social justice" are both manifestations of this.

Mattress girl's lying attention whoring is a perfect example of the deep-seated human need for struggle, even when none can be found.
The trick then, seems to be to call up that wartime zeal and enthusiasm and direct it toward doing something great - to achieving kleos - everlasting fame, by doing something worthy of having your name spoken of on the lips of countless generations. Perhaps you yourself have no need to be so remembered. However, your deeds should be worthy of remembrance, because such remembrance means that you accomplished something truly magnificent.

You must wake up every day with enthusiasm. You must know yourself and where you want to go, and have a vision for the direction of your work. You must make tireless day to day efforts to bring that vision to reality. You should want to achieve something great, something worthy of remembrance and praise - not for others, but to achieve your own immortality. Athena says it best in this 1997 adaptation of Homer's Odyssey:

Odysseus: I see you're no longer with me, Athena, and it's alright. I can do everything myself.

Athena (appearing with a laugh): Is that any way to speak to your protector?

Odysseus: Athena!

Athena: I think the wine swells your head, my Odysseus. Are you drinking because you fear your future?

Odysseus (drinking, laughing, smirking): Me? I'm afraid of nothing!

Athena: I'm teasing you. You're angry with me.

Odysseus: Athena! You could have helped me persuade Agamemnon, on the day of my son's birth no less!

Athena: I'm a goddess after all. I have other duties. And don't forget, I can be seen by whom I choose. I did not want you to escape this journey, because I want you to go. I want you, my brave Odysseus, to defeat the Trojans.

Odysseus: I've fought long enough.

Athena: No. You're destiny's to do battle, to become immortal, to have your name on the lips of endless generations!

Odysseus: No! I have no need to be remembered by endless generations.

Athena: Odysseus! You cannot lie to me! I know your true character! I know your pride, your vanity!

(Some more dialogue.)

Athena: You see the good in them (your men) because they love you. You must use this good to defeat the Trojans. You must be brave, my Odysseus.

Odysseus: I have no fear, as long as you're with me (Athena vanishes before he finishes).

This conversation encapsulates the Homeric hero, and indeed it is Homer's example which I wish to emulate on my own journey to this True Glory, as it is most in line with my natural talents. He became like his heroes, achieving a state of True Glory, of kleos, by writing about them. I hope to do the same.

Homer became, like the heroes he wrote about - immortal, by writing for posterity his stories of Troy.
"Hero" is actually an operative word here, because while we think of it as describing something grand these days, something almost superhuman, its original meaning was simply "he who is worthy." Those worthy of glory will be those who are worthy of it - who contribute the most to acquiring it.

True Glory is different from happiness and contentment. It's of course important to be happy, and I do not need much to be happy and content. However, happiness and contentment are most often excuses for stagnation - the very disease Western civilization is suffering from, while others are hungry for something more. We of course need to be happy in life, but we must never rest on those laurels, lest we become complacent. The greatest part of being human is our ability to do feats of greatness, to leave a legacy for eternity in finding and experiencing this beauty and this True Glory, which are only possible in this time and place in the universe's history - a universe whose future likely promises to be cold and dark, and the possibility of glory will sink into the blackness with it. We owe it to ourselves and to the universe that created us to burn as brightly as we can while time still allows, to be living (for life is a unique creation of the universe) expressions of the natural beauty of the cosmos.

Carl Sagan used to say that "we are a way for the cosmos to know itself." In the same tradition, True Glory is a way for us to be agents for the universe to glorify itself through the deeds of life.

Louis XIV wrote:

Praise is of a very delicate texture, and we should be very careful how we are caught by its dazzling appearance, as it requires much penetration to discern truly our flatterers from our real admirers.

But however obscure the intentions of our courtiers may be, there is nevertheless, a certain mode by which we may turn everything they say to our advantage; which is simply, to examine ourselves closely on the subject of praise which others have bestowed on us; for when we hear certain encomiums which we ourselves are unconscious of deserving, it will immediately lead us to reflect on them (according to the temper of those who bestowed them) either as a malignant reproach for some error, which we, in consequence, should immediately endeavor to correct, or as a secret exhortation to a virtue to which we have hitherto been insensible.

Supposing even that we conceive ourselves really deserving of that which is spoken in our favor, instead of simply contenting ourselves with the praises which we have received, they ought rather to serve us as a stronger stimulus to merit new encomiums; for this assuredly is one of those mediums whereby the elevated mind may be distinguished from those who never rise beyond mediocrity; to behold the latter charmed with the empty noise of applause which is incessantly flattering their ears, abandoning themselves to inactivity and indolence, eager to persuade themselves that they have done enough; while the former, continually burning with an equal ardor, seem never fully satisfied, as if everything which is lavished to allay that fire with which they seem to burn only to increase its violence.

It is only after this manner, my son, that glory becomes amiable; the thirst for which it inspires is not a weak passion which becomes cloyed with possession; it is never obtained but by strong efforts, and never becomes satiating; and he who can rest contended without seeking new favors is unworthy even of those which he has already received.

Although we may never achieve the state, it is the desire, the zeal, and the work that make life meaningful and which rescues us from indolence and nihilism. That is its greatest virtue - fulfilling this deep human need. The journey to True Glory is equally as great as the destination.

At the conclusion of this entry, I'm still somewhat unsatisfied. Is this the true way to live a good life? I think I'm heading in the right direction, and I believe my underpinnings are right, but is what I've said the correct path? I'm still not entirely sure what it all means. I'll just have to keep looking, and adding to this thesis, with words and deeds, as time goes by.

The fate of the universe doesn't look good. Burn brightly now!