The Path of Life
There has been a lot of misinformation circulated by the Archons concerning the Left Hand Path. Those whispered voices that bother you in your dreams and private thoughts, the ones that sound so much like your kindergarten teacher, claim that the Left Hand Path is the path of evil, of Satan, of death, and of destruction. They claim that only the utterly heartless and corrupt follow this path, and that it will turn you into a raving Nazi (at best) or (more likely) a serial killer and baby eater.
Don't you believe it.
In their proper role the Archons are not so bad. Their job is to guide us when we are children, to help us avoid those things which can destroy us before we grow into adulthood and learn to stand up on our own.
Unfortunately, the Archons have forgotten their true role and have become petty dictators.
Like overprotective parents, they would prefer that we remain children, and under their so much wiser thumbs, forever. They want to keep us from making dangerous decisions, from trying risky things, from spreading our new and still damp wings to dry in the moonlight. "For our own good" the Archons wrap us is chains made up of "thou shalts" and "thou shalt nots," seductively persuading us that the very chains that hold us down make us free.
Yes, all of these things against which we are warned can be harmful. And some pain, injury and recovery are inevitably necessary. But you can't avoid that. The child who never falls is also the child who never learns to walk. The Archons, in their efforts to keep us away from the busy street, keep us confined to the yard where we are absolutely safe in the same way that a caged bunny is absolutely safe.
But there comes a time when a person must leave the yard, approach the street, and learn to cross without holding mommy's hand, or face that fact that they are never going to go anywhere without adult supervision.
Growing up leads you inevitably to the Left Hand Path.
The Left Hand Path is the path to power. Power is the will to life, the utter and complete ecstasy of sheer being that comes from living in the real and natural world of life and death, love and hate, pain and pleasure, peace and war - and all the other pairs of opposites - and relishing every moment of it.
It is true that evil people sometimes follow this path. Many evil people know that they are hunting power, and so they follow the path that leads them there. However, you should know that power is amoral. It isn't good or evil, heavenly or satanic.
It just is.
It's the person who uses it who determines what it becomes. The good use it for good. The evil use it for evil. To do anything, however, requires that you use it - the rule of power is that power can not be avoided. One either uses it, or is used by it.
And this is a bit of a problem. "Nice" people have listened too obediently to the whisperings of the Archons for far too long. The Archons tell them that power is dangerous and can be used to do dreadful things. Thus, many well meaning souls never learn how to hunt power. All the power seems to have ended up in the hands of the truly awful. "Nice" people have created the greatest evil that has ever existed by running away from power in their childishly misguided attempt to be "nice."
When you are ready to take off the jammies with the little feeties on them and risk chilling your toes on the cold floor, when you are ready to stand up without holding on to mommy's apron strings, when you are ready to face the real world, rather than that silly fantasy of what the world "ought to be," the Left Hand Path will be there waiting for you.
The Left Hand Path
This is a secret teaching which has been handed down through the centuries by word of mouth. Please don't tell anyone that I am revealing it here or I'll be kicked out of the Wizard's United Union (WUU), and I'll lose my permit to practice esoteric studies (I've already been kicked out of the NGFLA [Nice Guys Finish Last Association], but I don't mind that so much. They're a bunch of idiots anyway).
Ideally, I am supposed to sit on your left side manipulating your fingers as I talk. I can't do that through this media, so we'll have to proceed without the physical contact.
The left hand path has five doors, which are counted on the fingers of the left hand beginning with the pinky. Bend each finger downward to the palm as you learn the mystery of each door.
The Screen Door
The first door (pinky) is the screen door (I know, it's a stupid name, but it is also a stupid door, which, like the pinky, is mostly useless - and for the same reason - it has no strength). The screen door allows us to see out from where we are into a beautiful world, full of all kinds of pretty colors, and teaming with the fuzzy bunnies of the spirit world. Think "New Age" here. It also allows a strangely attractive wind to come in and go out.
This door is the one which first attracts us, and is easy to pass. Most people who start to follow the Left Hand Path never make it to the second door, because the screen door is so darned attractive and so very, very easy. And this is where the followers of the Right Hand Path wander, live and die.
This door opens into a place like a garden with pretty flowers all in a row, and well trimmed hedges, and rose bushes without any thorns. The Archons let you in there because it is a safe place for children to play, but they warn you to stay away from the pond, and to never, ever go into the woods.
The Door of Fear
The second door is the door of fear.
When you lean way over to look at your reflection in the pond, when you reach the borderline where the wilderness meets the lawn and the poison ivy encroaches, when you start to climb over the fence feeling the sting of rusty barbed wire, when you stay out after dark and weird eyes shine in the darkness, you are at the door of fear.
To pass the second door, one must face the powers that guard it. These powers are so great that, with their slightest movement, they can rip you into a little bleeding mess of dead meat, or send you howling like a frightened dog to it's master. I heard of one woman who was turned into a pillar of salt, and of a great man who was chained to a mountain were an eagle perpetually pecked out his liver.
To pass the second door, you must face the awesome power that blocks it.
The problem is that the only way to face power is with power, and until you face power, you have none. Power generates power. Seek out the thing which frightens you most and go to meet it.
Stand up to power and learn. Be prepared for some bruising. Bring plenty of bandaids.
The Door of War
The third door is the door of war.
To the one with power, everything becomes a battle. Every success, and every failure, adds to your power, but success is better than failure. Each success, taken in the right spirit, increases your chances of winning in the next battle, while each failure, if taken in the wrong spirit, increases your chances of failure in the next battle.
But the secret knowledge you need to get by here is easy to learn.
It is just this: There are only two ways to really lose a battle.
Be careful here. When in battle, every action is important. The slightest inattention, the vaguest clumsiness, can lead to defeat, or death, or worse.
Look for Hermes here. He's quite mad, but jolly good company.
The Door of Knowledge
The fourth door is the door of knowledge.
There is not much explanation needed for this, since one arrives here naturally if one continues to fight long enough.
The knowledge, which I will tell you, can, in fact, only be learned through continuous war. It is simply this: Success in battle teaches one how to succeed in battle. When one learns that battle leads to power, and that success and failure are a matter of attention, and that attention is the product of power, one has all the knowledge one needs.
Everything else is mere elaboration.
The Door of the Will
The fifth door (the thumb - the one that makes a fist and allows one to grasp, hold, and use) is the door of the will.
Here one discovers that it is the will which was the strangely attractive wind blowing through screen door all along. It is the will that gives us power over fear. It is the will that leads to attention and, therefore, success in battle. It is the will that leads us to knowledge, the knowledge of the will itself.
The great ouroborus is the will creating the will.
Make perfect your will -
Then use your hand and do.
Welcome to the hurricane, oh thou who art so beautiful.
The Path of Death
At this point, in the interest of balance, I should say something about the Right Hand Path, lest you go running off all lopsided. So here, again, is one of the great hidden truths you are not supposed to know (by the way, I just got a call from the WUU. Someone blabbed): The Right Hand Path is the path of true death and its followers seek the utter and complete annihilation of everything.
Talk about evil, yeah? I would prefer maybe an atomic bomb..
The Right Hand Path is the path of rules, and all the rules are laid down by the Archons. To be "nice," they tell us, you must do this (become a vegetarian, fast for days at a time, devote yourself to serving the weak, pray five times a day, turn the other cheek, whatever). Or, to put it bluntly, your duty is to give up yourself, your life, your existence and withdraw into the vacancy of unprotesting hollowness.
It isn't the rules themselves that do this. Where's the harm in not eating meat, or kneeling and mumbling? If it's what you like to do, then go ahead and knock yourself out.
It is the idea that you have a "duty" to follow the Archon's rules, as if you are unable to figure out for yourself what you need, as if you need someone or something to do your thinking for you.
And this, the right handers will tell you, is their goal, although they use prettier words to say it. Their aim is to give up their independent existence and submerge themselves into the vague and undifferentiated nothingness that was there before there was anything. They want to send themselves, you, and the universe back to non-existence, to utterly and completely unmake it all, to turn God (who is you) back into a useless blob that is ignorant even of itself.
And they call this good.
Copyright 2010 B. de Corbin and Splendid Fish Studio