Most Popular Articles

We’re sometimes asked where the new Phalanx reader should begin. Although we recommend looking through the latest articles, here you’ll find some of our more popular articles, and ones that represent the tone and orientation of Phalanx. Below the heading is the first paragraph or two of the article. If it sounds intriguing to you, just click the headline or the “read more…” link.

Positive Thinking As A Sacrifice To The Higher Self

A 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. Read more…


The Results of Rituals: Inside and Out

“The disciplines of physical exercise, meditation and study aren’t terribly esoteric. The means to attain a capability far beyond that of the so-called ordinary person are within the reach of everyone, if their desire and their will are strong enough,” Alan Moore once said. “I have studied science, art, religion and a hundred different philosophies. Anyone could do as much. By applying what you learn and ordering your thoughts in an intelligent manner it is possible to accomplish almost anything. Possible for an ‘ordinary person.’ There’s a notion I’d like to see buried: the ordinary person. Ridiculous. There is no ordinary person.” Read more…


The Alchemical Dojo

Being at war with myself in a world I didn’t understand, I got tangled into a dark world of addiction and destructive behavior at a very young age. In a fatherless household, I grew up as a ball of directionless anger. Underneath it all was an inner spirit, waiting to be uncovered. All I needed was a guide, a “wise man” to show me the way. The wise man appears to people in various forms and in a variety of settings. Read more…


The Cowardice of Defeatism

Some time ago, a casual acquaintance of mine complained to me that he had no real friends, no real interests outside of work, and that, although he was dating, it wasn’t going well. Wanting to help, I suggested that he join a gym or weightlifting group, and supplied him with contact information for several in his area. This would give him some kind of routine — and purpose — outside work, I thought to myself, and his body would improve (which would be better for his health, and for attracting women), and, of course, he would make friends. Read more…


The Sufi Mysticism of Music, Sound, and Vibration

Within the sayings and practices of both Sufism and music, one can find all the necessary conditions that are needed to cultivate higher states of observation and consciousness.  Upon the attainment of these higher states, says scholar Irene Markoff, the seeker can finally achieve the desired “spiritual intoxication (wajd) and a unique and intimate union, even annihilation (fana’), in the supreme being.” Read more…


Take the Good. Leave the Bad

“When someone preaches hatred against another, discount it, and, if you have the opportunity, go to them and tell them ‘please don’t talk about other people.’ Those who talk about others don’t have something [good] to present themselves… Please do yourself a favor. When you hear labeling, you need to be more intelligent than the label. You need to rise above it and tell yourself whatever good is coming from this person I will take it; whatever bad is coming, I will discount it” — Mufti Ismail ibn Musa Menk. Read more…


Talent, Persistence, and The Advantage of Disadvantage

“Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent… Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent” — Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the United States).

Over the years, I have noticed a curious phenomenon: those heralded as having natural talent often quit or come last. The star student, during their first couple of years, barely finishes the final year. The graduate with two-plus degrees (including from Yale) never picks up a book again. I’ve witnessed these and other ways the talented give up. Read more…


The Spirituality of Sacrifice

“A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, and must empty ourselves,” Mother Theresa taught. My view is different. I agree with Mother Theresa that through sacrifice, and with the help of God (we might use a different name — Odin, Buddha, the Tao, etc.), the individual will be able to “accomplish great things.” But is pain an essential aspect of, or even helpful to, making the act sacred or spiritual? I don’t believe it is. Read more…


Muscle and Chi: The Yin-Yang of Physical Self-Development

I recently heard a self-defense instructor mocking the traditional Asian schools for their insistence that students cultivate Chi (subtle or internal energy, similar to Kundalini) which, the self-defense instructor claimed, did not exist.

Within the traditional Chinese and Japanese martial and healing arts (such as acupressure and Chi-Gong), Chi is generally regarded as connected to the breath, and as being stored up in certain specific points in the body, especially the Tan Tien, which is located close to the navel. But this subtle energy is also linked to food, air, and even to the earth and the directions. Read more…


Barbarians, Gender Ambiguity, and Possibilities For a New Culture

We should be cautious of prophecies that claim that we are on a path of infinite political “progress,” infinite “economic growth,” or, conversely, headed toward civilizational collapse. Things are more complicated, and there always remains opportunities for the creation of interesting new cultural movements and for personal ascent (though perhaps not for those who are determined to fit themselves into some outdated societal mold). Read more…


The Fear We Need

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” The quote, attributed to Plato, reminds us that to varying degrees fear is with each of us from childhood. Ordinary people feel fear. Great leaders sometimes fear. So do great warriors, great artists, great men and women who are leaders in other fields. For the higher man and the higher woman, I believe, the question is not so much can we overcome fear? but what is worth fearing? If we can answer that then we will live a life worth living. Let me explain. Read more…