Taboo finds its oppressor in socially-imposed schizophrenia: the imprinted moral conscience, an avatar of a judgmental and imaginary norm which ignores the ways of Nature and insists upon the Earth as the central concern of a transcendent deity. Somehow, the purveyors of this moral dogma laugh at Ptolemy, despite the fact that his assertion of geocentricity was, at least, consistent with the best knowledge available to him.
Time is a gossamer shroud woven about timelessness through which matter is falsely perceived as an ordered cacophony of separate things moving in sequence. All time-bound experience is thus a simple play in physics, until it is transcended. And time is subject to (according to Walter Russell) the One Law of the Universe Manifest, which is balance: a rhythmic, continuous interchange between thesis and antithesis which emulates the infinite through its perpetuity, taking note of a recognized temporal scale (i.e. the lifespan/cycle of man vs. the lifespan/cycle of a star). Thus emerges the requisite acknowledgement of the balance between opposites which differ in degree, but not in nature.
The Seven Deadly Sins – “vices” – result in the fulfillment of the individual; this is characterized by the Blake adage, “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.” Abrahamic faiths are oriented around “virtues” usually associated with asceticism. Interpreting vice and virtue as opposites in nature rather than in degree forces a polarized worldview rather than recognizing dualities as equally valid and coexistent.
This view, which supports the absoluteness of moral extremes, has been seeded by the patriarchal philosophies of the Abrahamic traditions. Some spiritual traditions that existed prior recognize moral extremes as distractions to the divine state, which is characterized by detachment and balance. Some of these spiritual traditions were ascetic, but the dualistic framework in which ascetic and indulgent are conflicting opposites was notably absent in their system.
The dialectic of “enemies” (opposites) remains active in Western occultism despite the seminal work of esoteric scholars to syncretize a cohesive system. Polarization in accord with imposed social valuations are common, and many clamor towards the “left hand path” (LHP) or the “right hand path” (RHP) oblivious to the true meaning of those terms, or the middle path orientation of esoteric philosophies like Hermeticism, which underscores virtually every Western occult system.
The use of the LHP/RHP dichotomy in Western esoteric culture has been colored by the personal interpretations of prominent late-Victorian occultists and associated with “black” or “white” magick. Modern interpretations identify LHP with the rejection of dogma and absolutes, pursuing individual exaltation vs. dissolution into a universal consciousness, and the personality vs. universality of experience.
The LHP/RHP dichotomy originated in tantra. Tantric philosophy includes the dakshinachara (right) and vamachara (left). Although antithetical in practice, they are merely opposing means sublimating one’s subjective reality. Dakshinachara involves orthodox Vedic practices and accepted social custom. Conversely, vamachara practitioners have historically rejected the Vedas and incorporate heterodoxy and taboo into practice. These include indulgence in the “Five Ms” (madya, wine; mamsa, meat; matsya, fish; mudra, parched cereal; and maithuna, sex), which are believed to encourage sin and may be represented non-literally. Although practitioners of one path denounce the practices or doctrines of the other, they acknowledge a common goal. Recognition of the validity of antitheses signifies a certain maturity, given man’s usual pettiness.
The supreme satisfaction is to be able to despise one's neighbor and this fact goes far to account for religious intolerance. It is evidently consoling to reflect that the people next door are headed for hell.— Aleister Crowley
Perhaps the single most aggravating issue surrounding extremes is that those who espouse them most vehemently have never experienced the opposite extreme. 13-year-old virgins who have been systematically indoctrinated with the religious sensibilities of their dogmatically Christian parents have as much business ballyhooing over non-marital sex as I have proselytizing the moral imperative of daily scatalogical rites, or the universal appropriateness of skull-fucking.
(Which are both awesome, don’t get me wrong.)
One easily stumbles into the fallacious assumption that not-A “should” be A, that external reality “should” mirror internal reality, instead of recognizing that extremes cohabit a continuum as potentials. By aligning one’s ego with moral extremes, one reinforces the false dualistic framework and thereby the notion of enemies / not-A / foreigners (neither make covenant nor intermarry with foreigners, and destroy their places of worship).
I feel that the emphasis of moral extremism is due to the various Abrahamic traditions. This theory is furthered by the correlating developments of alphabets, the left brain, and patriarchal systems, which superseded the era in which divinity-as-Goddess and the right brain were dominant. The concrete right brain is not wired to abstractly reason A and Not-A into distinct and contradictory positional values, because that ability hinges on the left-brain provinces of language and speech (these concepts are explained in detail in Leonard Shlain’s The Alphabet vs. The Goddess). Ironically, the acceptance of moral extremism enables the use of Hegelian dialectics against us.
Extremes exist within the individual, and the essential well being demands balance between the two. For example, persona and shadow encompass two aspects of the personality: the emphasized (visible, conscious mind) and the unemphasized (hidden, subconscious mind/ego). We fear the subtler, more esoteric things beyond our comprehension. The shadow is thus demonized, and we tend to make a devil of the ego.
Until we need to stand up for ourselves, or when we require confidence.
Within the individual, polarization schemata create a rift between extremes, demonizing one and deifying the other according to the cultural values of their architects. These are only resolved by sheer force of will, according to the indoctrination of the individual in conflict. Such a decision rends the soul in two, upsetting a balance that keeps the mind healthy. Who can logically choose between an system of social & moral values (however “gratifying”) and the biological drives that we owe to Nature? Have the retarded logic gates of morality and social mores crippled us emotionally?
This is not to endorse moral relativism, but rather to attack the premise that the moral extremism of the Abrahamic worldview has been beneficial. The growing trend towards secularism speaks to a rejection of moral extremes in favor of worldviews that acknowledge the individual – not the institution – as the unit of society. Declining religious membership suggests we are beginning to recognize our own Divine Right.
The conscience of the world is so guilty that it always assumes that people who investigate heresies must be heretics; just as if a doctor who studies leprosy must be a leper. Indeed, it is only recently that science has been allowed to study anything without reproach.— Aleister Crowley
Of course, a certain “depravity” is apparent in society that was not before. The patriarchs correlate this phenomenon with the rejection of church values, but psychology gives us a much more realistic picture in analyses of sexual dysfunction. That repression creates dysfunction around natural impulses like a speck of sand accretes calcium in the mantle of an oyster is inarguable.
How pompous to assume an æon of repression would escape the blowback.