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cultural movements and for personal ascent (though perhaps not for those who are determined to fit themselves into some outdated societal mold).

A century ago, the German intellectual Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) argued that civilizations are organic, that they take root, blossom, and then wither and die. According to Spengler, the West is now in its dying phase. His thesis, however, was rebutted by another German thinker, Jean Gebser (1905-1973), who argued that human consciousness evolved through the emergence of new stages of consciousness. The previous stages remained in the psyche but were superseded. Such stages (the archaic, magic, mythical, mental, and integral) were characterized by new developments in language, art, and even in perception — hence our ability to see the color blue (something that humans have only been able to do for a few thousand years or so), and the appearance of perspective in art (which man did not understand and possibly could not really detect at one point). Continue reading “Barbarians, Gender Ambiguity, and Possibilities For a New Culture”

Return of The True Nobles

There is an infographic making the rounds that goes like this: “Bad times make strong men. Strong men make good times. Good times make weak men. Weak men make bad times.” Anyone with an interest in history can hear the truth in that. Decadence and debauchery, when made cultural norms invariably leads to a weakening of society. This makes society then ripe for a group of “Strong Men” to take it for their own.

But who are these “Strong Men”? Who are these noble folk who conquered territory and set the roots for powerful, world stretching civilizations? How can we become like them? To get to that point I feel it’s important for us to examine the word “Noble”. Continue reading “Return of The True Nobles”

Ancient and Modern Consciousness: And Living With Them

According to the ancient Greek poet Hesiod (8th century), the gods made several races of mortal men, one after the other as each met its demise. The first and the best was a golden race, the second was made of silver, the third bronze, and the fourth and worst was made of iron.

Hesiod’s notion of what we might call a “Golden Age,” an “Iron Age,” and so on, is reminiscent of the Hindu idea of the Yugas (Ages), descending from the Satya Yuga (Age of Truth) to the Kali Yuga (Age of Darkness), the latter of which, claimed French metaphysician Rene Guenon, is the one we are living in. Continue reading “Ancient and Modern Consciousness: And Living With Them”