Wednesday 18 November 2009

My Way

What is my way; what is my belief? I suppose I find this quite difficult to answer in that my ‘path’ is completely and uniquely my own, at least in the sense that it would be virtually impossible for others to follow on. I believe in freedom, and I believe in power. I follow no rule and I accept no law. I am sometimes attracted to the light and other times to the dark, more to the latter than the former, if I am honest. If I am harmed I will return the favour tenfold.

I love power; I love the power of intellect and the power of sexuality. For me witchcraft encapsulates this power and more; it’s a complete and total break from the Christian tradition in which I was raised.

I would never, ever challenge those who followed a different way from me, whether it is Wicca or Woden; all those, in other words, who accept rules, hierarchy and some kind of order. Why? Because I would then deny them the freedom I demand for myself. But, more to the point, I simply don’t care strongly enough to offer criticism.

My sin, if such it is, is one of total self-regard; of pride, if you will. And is that not the original sin, the sin of Lucifer himself? :-))


  1. Very clever, Ana. And very puzzling. Tell me, what is power unless it is power over others? Or do you believe it is power over yourself? In which case, do not be too sure that your beliefs will stand the test of time. ;-)

    And what is freedom? without boundaries, you would not be able to recognize it. ;-)

    And this path that is uniquely your own ... where does it lead? How do you maintain your splendid isolation when your thoughts are brimming with the presence of other people - people you mostly love? :) :)

  2. I hope I don't shock you, Jamie. :-)

    I do have power over others, exercised, if you like, in physical sense, by a sense of presence, and in an intellectual sense. But mostly it's power over myself, an ability to direct my energies towards desired ends. what I say here is an extension of my political views, my belief in freedom, on pushing to the limits of freedom.

    My intellect does brim over; so do my passions. I burn up with fire, Jamie, and I like to have fun, to play with ideas, and sometimes to play with other people. It's part of my impish nature. I hope this makes sense; I'm tired. :-)

  3. Ana,
    You really do have a power over me.
    Your writings, I follow through Google Friends Connect, have made me visit your blog very often.
    Every time I want to write about democracy, authoritarian rule, history etc. I would turn to your blog.
    Thanks a lot Ana.

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  5. You flatter me, dear, dear Rehan. I'm much more of a devil, a creature of the night. :-)

  6. William Blake never spoke more truly than when he said, "Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human Existence." I have a print of his 'The Good and Evil Angels' hanging on my wall to remind me of this profound and inescapable truth. Whether we like it or not, we are all of us creatures of both darkness and light. It is folly and hubris to attempt to deny or repress the darker side of our nature. Without our shadow, without the chiaroscuro that defines and delineates the planes and the masses of our personality, how could we know our true selves? Without knowledge of darkness, how could we choose the light? I do not mean "choose" in the radical and exclusive sense in which one would choose between Manichean antinomies; I mean, rather, the creative act of self-definition, whereby we realise the vision of human freedom, and its corollary, the ideal of the dignity of man, bequethed to us by the Humanists of the Renaissance.

    "O highest and most marvellous felicity of man!", declared Pico della Mirandola, "To him it is granted to have whatever he chooses, to be whatever he wills ... Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow to maturity and bear in him their own fruit." But in order that it may bear this fruit, the seed needs both the darkness of the earth and the light of the sun. The power to act without the freedom to choose is blind. Freedom of choice without the power to act is an impotent wish. The light must learn from the dark, and the dark from the light. "Our antagonist is our helper", Burke tells us, "This amicable conflict with difficulty obliges us to intimate acquaintance with our object, and compels us to consider it in all its relations. It will not suffer us to be superficial." Without this inner conflict, where we are both our own antagonist and object, we do indeed risk becoming "superficial", by which I mean either insipid or gross; but, like most worthwhile human endeavours, this conflict carries risks of its own, and certainly cannot always be relied on to be "amicable".

    It would be a mistake to regard darkness - or evil, if you prefer - as a passive or inert quality, from which one can borrow indiscriminately and with impunity. We should never forget that darkness is a living entity, with a dynamic of its own. And there is always a price to pay for the wisdom that we would seek, and particularly for the strength that we would draw, from the darker side of our personalities. Just as the light learns from the dark, so the dark learns from the light: it becomes subtle; it learns dissimulation and, above all, it learns patience; but this will never alter its fundamental nature. We should take care lest the strength of will we borrow to control ourselves and others be turned towards destruction, even our self-destruction, because this is the precipice to which the dynamic of darkness will inevitably draw us. And how does one fight will with will? If that from which we have been accustomed to draw our strength suddenly turns against us, where then are we to turn? True; every time we pull ourselves back from this precipice, we become stronger and wiser. But so, too, does our adversary. Like the "implacable force brooding over an inscrutable intention" in Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', it remains ever watchful for the next opportunity to draw us over the edge. And I must be ready for the day when a dark volcanic island will emerge from the serene sea of my space, silence and solitude, and shatter once more the peace of my vita contemplativa.

    Continued to post 2 ...

  7. ... continued from post 1

    My great sin has always been intellectual curiosity, so I will always question those who follow a different path from me (and those who follow the same one). If I don't learn something of interest, then I can usually console myself with a hearty laugh (my other great sin is a genuinely wicked and subversive sense of humour). If I hesitate to offer advice or criticism, it's because I know that there is no such thing as the "right path", only the right path for you.

    I would, however, offer the observation that the freedom you desire isn't the kind that you can "demand": a demand implies your reciprocal recognition of a similar right in others (the one you're unwilling to deny), and while freedom isn't exactly what I'd call a zero-sum commodity, I still doubt there'd be enough to go round if everyone made your demands. Besides, even if there were, you'd be submitting to your first rule, which looks suspiciously like Kant's First Maxim ("Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."), with all the other pesky rules that it entails. Somehow I think you'd be more comfortable with Blake's maxim: "One law for the lion and ox is oppression." I'm afraid you must take your freedom where you can.


  8. Yes, yes, yes, one has to take such freedom as there is. There are times, though, when limits can be transcended and freedom enlarged.

    Intellectual curiosity, if that's a sin it is mine, my 'original sin.' A female Faust, I suppose. :-)

    You are a deep and impressive thinker, Allectus.

  9. "The key to knowing one's self is growing bored with others, the key to self-growth is growing bored with one's self"....the key to being pretentious is to put speech marks round one's own words...sorry about that.

  10. "Why thank you"--he says smugly.