Creating a Tribal Culture: Principles and Pitfalls

Increasingly, we are under siege from the inversion of those values accepted, until recently, by every culture the world over — from the classical Chinese to the Arabic, and from dharmic Asia to Europe. Instead of health, we see the promotion of unhealthy lifestyles, diets, fast food, and obesity. Instead of inner and outer strength, we are taught to respect hurt feelings and to regard them as representing inner truth. Instead of tribe, community, and strong bonds between those in the physical world, we are offered only the abstraction of identity politics, virtual communities, and the promise of one day uploading our consciousnesses.

Some groups remain, attached to a way of looking at the world that is shared by the traditions of all developed cultures, derived from such roots as the classical Buddhism of China to the trade guilds of Europe, with their rituals, ethics, religion, and way of life. However, below I have attempted to sketch out a few basic elements that I believe any non-conformist group will need to survive in the modern age, and a few threats posed to them. Continue reading “Creating a Tribal Culture: Principles and Pitfalls”

Gnosis, Glory, and The Greater Man and Woman

When we speak of the warrior of ancient culture, we are speaking, paradoxically, of the artist and the thinker. Egill Skallagrímsson, a Viking Age warrior known for his brutality, was also a poet — and the first to compose in Old Norse using end rhyme (rather than rhyming at the beginning of sentences). Likewise, as I’ve mentioned before, celebrated samurai Miyamoto Musashi was also a painter and a calligrapher.

Classical civilizations have found great depths in man — in spirituality, ritual, theology, in brotherhoods, in training for battle, in family, the arts, ethics, and so on — and outside of man — sacred sites where a god or saint had lived; in the classical and ancient belief that the world was Created by God; or created from the slaughtered body of a giant; in the Tao; in natural law as proof of God’s existence, and so on. Continue reading “Gnosis, Glory, and The Greater Man and Woman”

Positive Thinking As A Sacrifice To The Higher Self

von-stuck-angelA few months back, Mitch Horowitz proposed a 30-day challenge, based on the writing and experiences of American philosopher William James, who saw radical and rapid positive changes in his life when he took up the practice of what, today, is generally termed “positive thinking.”

Horowitz is the author of One Simple Idea: How the Lessons of Positive Thinking Can Transform Your Life and Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation. He is, in my estimation, a serious, thoughtful, and informed historian who is able to see through to the deeper levels of different movements and cultural, spiritual trends. Continue reading “Positive Thinking As A Sacrifice To The Higher Self”